In a rather unassuming, cosy room above the Art of Food, lies one of Dullstroom’s best gastronomic experiences. The dining room above Art of Food is everything you want it to be when travelling to this tiny town: relaxed, ambient and best of all, an unexpected treat amongst the strip of average eateries here.
Owner Dave showed us to our corner table, the fire was warding off the winter chill and guests were starting to fill up the small eatery slowly. I had never heard of Art of Food to be honest, but travelling with the Mercedes-Benz Life team clearly has its benefits when we recently headed out to hunt truffles, I’ll blog about that soon enough too.
My first delight was at the fact that there is no menu here, well no written menu anyway. The wine list is displayed on the rack, and the choice is yours upon being seated. A tantalising list of dishes is rattled off with the utmost care by Dave, before each is explained and detailed further. Listening to the menu is a pre-cursor and certainly part of the entire experience at Art of Food. Dave’s wife Christine is mentioned in almost every breath, her elaborate cooking methods included in the description of most dishes by Dave.
Luckily with a table of six, we seemed to cover most of the items on the menu here. My best dish of the night where the start mussel bunny chows with a spicy, curry sauce. The home-made bread basket was crunchy, holding in all the sauce hiding beneath the half-shell muscles, while apple slices and pickled fennel lifted the creamy sauce out of danger of being almost-too-rich.
The menu here evolves with the seasons and with what is available, this is a small town after all, but everything placed down in front of us was absolutely impeccable, the blue cheese wanna cotta was the most surprising for me with its syrupy kumquat topping.
Art of Food is open daily expect for Tuesdays and bookings for dinner are essential. For a three-course meal excluding drinks, expect your meal to come in between R200 – R250 per person. Get in touch with Art of Food at 082 324 7594.