Montecello's magic espetada

The sleepy town of Sedgefield on the Garden Route is home to several good restaurants, including unassuming Montecello Restaurant, which is always a popular choice with the locals. Ask anyone in the town which dish you simply must have when dining there, and the answer is unequivocal: Montecello is famous for the juiciest, tastiest espetadas – the kind that will inspire you to return again and again. Espetada is a typical Portuguese dish made of big chunks of marinated steak that is skewered onto a spike and cooked over the coals or on the grill. It is typically presented vertical, always making for a bit of a show-stopper at the table and no doubt inducing no small degree of diner envy in the process. My husband, Salvelio, and I spent a weekend in Sedgefield recently and, since he was in the mood for something meaty, Montecello was top of our list. He put his order in first. You guessed it: espetada. Here’s where I’m still kicking myself. Instead of ordering one too, I chose another dish. You see, when reviewing a restaurant the whole idea is to choose different mains so you can share a more diverse experience with the reader. The result? I sat salivating for half an hour while picking half-heartedly at my order while Salvelio piled into his ode to meat with gusto – garlic butter dripping delectably off the chunks of steak onto the generous bowl of chips below. It all sounds very carnivorous, I know, but if that’s what you’re in the mood for, you absolutely will not be disappointed. Try it with a bottle of Creation Whale Pod red from Walker Bay and you will be talking about this very merry match for a long time afterwards, just as Salvelio is. What can I say about my dish – sweet and sour chicken strips with rice? It was absolutely fine. Nice even. But how can it possibly compare? All I can say is go to Montecello and have the espetada. Bookings are advised since the restaurant is usually packed, especially at the weekend. Taste for yourself Montecello Restaurant 044 343 1780 / 082 373 2738