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Franschhoek Restaurants in Top 10 again

Once again the village has been acknowledged for its culinary prowess providing two restaurants  in the top 10 in the country and four in the top 20, in the latest 2010 Eat Out Magazine awards. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais and The Restaurant at Grande Provence are this year’s flagships and the respective reports are shown below. Reuben’s and Bread & Wine are again in the top 20. Bravo to all!!!

The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais
Food Consistently rated among the world’s best (and Eat Out’s 2007 top restaurant), expect nothing ordinary about executive chef Margot Janse’s cuisine, designed by to titillate. There’s a delightful sense of humour at play in this sensory journey, whether you opt for the four-, six- or eight-course menu of vividly plated ‘tastes’ which might change from one day to the next. Flavours are adventurous, dallying with seasonal local produce and luxe ingredients like foie gras and the more extravagant shellfish. Game features prominently, while desserts are inspired (though sometimes prettier to look at than eat). Do go with a receptive palate, not to mention stamina if you’re doing eight courses with wine, and you’ll be deliciously rewarded, though strict vegetarians and the overly safe are best left at home. 
Wine A vast and carefully chosen selection includs a listing of wines currently maturing in the cellar. Do opt for the ‘flight’ of specially paired wines to accompany your various dishes. 
Service It’s smartly presented, professional and very friendly, though the waiters sometimes get flustered explaining or remembering complicated dishes. 
Ambience Freshly spruced up, this classically elegant space now sports reupholstered chairs in edible fuchsia, crimson and tangerine, with walls showing off bright new contemporary paintings. Gone is the piano while, outside, a flock of beaded sheep nibble the grass. A lighter, fun attitude to match the playful food! 
And… With its international stature continuing to rise, you’ll need to book your table weeks in advance. (LR)
The Restaurant at Grande Provence
Food A sophisticated menu showcases local ingredients: country terrines, home-cured salmon trout gravlax, West Coast mussels, oven-roasted line fish, guinea-fowl and venison. The foams, broths and jus are inspired, enhancing the taste and texture of the main ingredient and dressing each plate with colour. Don’t miss the ham hock with apple purée. 
Wine They serve own estate wines by the glass and bottle, from the best-selling Angels Tears to the acclaimed reserve range. 
Service It’s sleek: from making the reservation to arrival at table to departure. 
Ambience The chic post-industrial dining room sports slit windows, riveted tables, studded high-backed leather thrones and a Zen courtyard with a koi fish pond. 
And… Try the cellar’s own wines in a postmodern tasting bar and browse in the art gallery. (GH)

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