If you love good food, great wine, and all things Italian, this is a post for you. From the moment you sit down and receive the bread basket, to the time you have to drag yourself home after a delightful meal, you can just tell there’s something about this place that’s just different to any other in Pretoria. Alfie’s Italian Café started a revolution in the Pretoria dining scene when they first opened their doors. For starters, it was one of the only Italian restaurants in Pretoria where you couldn’t get pizza. The café is also cute and cozy, not offering excessive tables, just enough for a vibrant environment, and housing a few guests outside on their terrace to dine al fresco when the weather plays along.
Your experience here will be 100% authentic Italian, from the names of the Specials of the Day, to the drinks. This makes me very happy, because it meant getting Aperol Spritz served in the correct way (with proper Prosecco and soda water) without having to explain how it needs to be made. The freshly baked bread you receive before the meal will make you wonder whether you can substitute your entire meal for several bread baskets, as it is so fresh and flavorful.
There are some standard items on the menu that I will always love, such as the Zucchine Mozzarella and a half portion of Gnocchi di Patate fatti in Casa al Gorgonzola e Noci (Gorgonzola gnocchi with walnut sauce). I often end up saving my bread to eat this Gorgonzola and walnut sauce after the gnocchi is finished.
Being an authentic Italian restaurant, I never order anything other than pasta when visiting (I also don’t go anywhere else when I’m craving pasta). I love ordering from the Specials of the Day, especially if there is a seafood pasta in the mix. Alfie’s always has the most creative combinations and it is sometimes very difficult to make up your mind about what to order (but if there’s ever a pasta served in a rosé sauce, definitely pick that one!). On my most recent visit, I was very fortunate enough to be there on a night where the Linguine al Pescatore was on the menu. This delicious dish was made up of linguine served in a tomato based sauce with chillies and a mixture of seafood which consisted of calamari, de-shelled prawns and muscles. This meal was so hearty and so enjoyable, I wish I could have another plate of it right now. And there’s definitely enough seafood on the plate, you’re not searching to find a piece of fish to enjoy.
If there’s one other thing Alfie’s made groundbreaking sensation in in Pretoria, it’s the Flan di Cioccolato, or chocolate fondant as it is better known to most of us. The 15 minute preparing wait is soooooo worth it when that flan leaves the kitchen and you start getting whiffs of the chocolatey goodness coming your way. When you break the first spoon into the fondant, and the chocolate starts running towards your vanilla ice-cream, you’ll know you’ve selected a winner. And all that before you’ve even tasted it. Trust me, you’ll fall in love with the first bite.
To end off your evening, you simply must try some of their incredible coffees (I always go with a cappuccino). And then, of course, there’s no better way to round it all up than with an ice cold limoncello. If you’ve never had limoncello, you’ll thank me later.
For a little taste of Italy in Pretoria, Alfie’s Italian Café is the place to be.