Stepbrothers is the latest cucina on Cape Town’s Italian food scene and although advertised as a deli, bar and locanda – which, directly translated, means a simple hotel or inn – the eatery is anything but basic. Located in Waterkant Street, Stepbrothers is run by childhood friends Giono Vessio and Barry Fuchs, who always dreamed of opening up their own restaurant. The name stems from the pair’s love of comedy and the 2008 film of the same moniker, and since ‘step brothers’ is such a familial term, the obvious option was to serve Italian food at its most deliciously unpretentious. It also helps that Giono happens to be Italian himself – his nonna’s Rosette pasta can attest to that.
Expect authentic Italian fare as it should be – either made fast and fresh like their pasta dishes, or slow, like the 200g Doback Burger basted in Stepbrother’s own 36-hour bone stock. This dichotomy of delectable menu choices led us to sample both speeds with the Ricotta Gnocchi and the Baby Doback burger and potato wedges. Arriving in a copper pan and swimming in a luxurious three-cheese sauce, the Gnocchi themselves were light, delicate and moreish.
The burger was served medium rare between a light brioche-style bun baked in house and topped with slow-simmered onions in a tomato relish. Liberally basted in that slow bone broth, the beef is sourced from ethical supplier Son Of A Butcher and the superior flavour is apparent in the dish, raising the humble hamburger to new heights. A definite highlight had to be the potato wedges served alongside it: their golden exterior, fluffy interior and light dusting of spice has us wondering just how executive chef Edward Lloyd achieves such an extraordinary combination of texture and taste from the humble spud.
A comprehensive takeaway menu provides patrons with the option of an inner-city lunch dash that offers more than just a plastic-wrapped snack as all the pastas, salads and sandwiches are made to order. In keeping with the theme of familia, catering on a larger scale can be done for those evenings when take-out needs to be a little more special than the café down the road. And since no Mediterranean meal is complete without something to sip on, the bright tangerine branding around the restaurant reminds one that an Aperol Spritz goes with just about everything.
To make a booking, visit stepbrothers.co.za.