In celebration of more than thirty joint years in the restaurant industry, visionary brothers Naldo and Victor Gonçalves, owners of the well-known fine dining restaurant group Pigalle, have opened up NV-80 on the first floor of Sea Point's latest development – The Point. NV-80 is named after the dynamic and renowed Gonçalves duo that has been in the business since 1980. Their restaurant, a throwback to the past and celebration of it, offers guests intimate indoor dining, an alfresco balcony for sundowners and a chic centre bar – home to an impressive selection of local wines and both standard and inventive cocktails.
Artfully decorated by local interior designer Andrea Graff, NV-80 shares a Cuba meets vintage dining room ambience – with bright lemon and teal hues set amoungst tall palm trees. Fluorescent finishes coat classic cast aluminium, Windsor dining chairs wear metal feet and copper accents compliment mighty matchstick blinds – this is Graff’s 21st Century take on 1970's South Africa. While at Clignancourt Flea Market, in Paris, Graff saw and fell in love with a pair of beaded ships, which she commissioned local Zimbabwean artist Michael Chandler to recreate and suspend above the bar.
Originally designed wallpaper lends itself to the ‘old South Africa’ Graff used as her starting point, and the large glass windows and dark wooden finishes position this grillhouse in a class of it's own. “Think Lorenzo Marques, Umhlanga or the Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg. This is a space I want guests to reminisce in”, says Graff. While the Gonçalves’ other ventures lend themselves to businessmen and entertainers, NV-80 strips back to basics. “Cape Town loves relaxed eateries”, says Victor and it’s therefore the seamless union of sophistication and simplicity that is swiftly placing NV-80 at the pinnacle of Sea Point’s evolving culinary landscape.
And this simplicity is carried through everything the brothers create, including their complicated fare – overseen by head chef and co-partner Pavel Dimitrov – emphasizing natural flavours. NV-80's menu is an amalgamation of the Gonçalves’ favourites found on their previous menus over the past 36 years. Interesting side dishes, including dauphinoise potatoes and wild mushroom linguine, compliment the fresh cuisine. Firm favourites include tender-aged chalmar steak, king prawns, and their famous peri-peri baby chicken, which loyal patrons will remember from NV-80’s fancier sibling down on Somerset. Entrées range from R55 – R75, grilled meats from R120 – R150, and
shellfish from R90 - R320 (for a platter).
Most impressive in value and impressive flavour combination is the eatery's red wine shallot and chorizo dressing oysters, priced at R12 each. The Gonçalves brothers’ story starts in in 1978 where they opened their first coffee shop in Lisbon. Both wanted to return to their homeland and therefore headed back to Johannesburg, South Africa, to open The Longhorn Steakhouse on Corlett Drive in 1980.
Ten years later the duo opened their first Portuguese restaurant, O’galito, followed by the Grill Club Restaurant and Back of the Moon, as well as a series of Vilamoura restaurants that were later listed and sold. And then was the inception of the Pigalle brand that has since found a home in Cape Town (2003), Bedfordview and Sandton (2004) and
Melrose Arch (2009). Their story lives on in NV-80 which the brothers see as a reward for all their hard work.
NV-80 embraces the city’s laidback nature. With a clear view of Lion's Head, the oasis of a restaurant feels far removed from any shopping centre and the buzz of Sea Point Main Road life brings about a European vibrancy.
Travel on the N2 or N1 towards Cape Town City Centre. When you reach the robots at the CTICC, continue onto Buitengracht Street. Turn right onto Strand and continue onto High Level Road. After 2,7kms, turn right onto St Johns Road and then take the 1st left onto Main Road. Take a slight right onto Regent Road and the destination will be on the right.