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  1. We were in the CapeTown area last January and had some suprisingly good dinners. We are from the San Francisco area, were in the gourmet food business for years, and have had some amazingly great food over the years, from California to New York to Paris. Our hopes were high but our expectations not when we spent ten days in the western Cape. In Franschhoek, we ate at The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais and were dazzled. We also ate one evening at their adjoining bistro and thought it was OK; the main advantage there is not the food, but you can order wine by the glass from the Tasting Room's wine list. Equally enjoyable was the tasting menu at Jardine, on Bree Street in Cape Town. The only caveat there: take a taxi home; the neighborhood gets deserted after dark. We had no trouble but don't like deserted places after dark. But Jardine itself was wonderful, every dish better than the next. The big disappointment was Showroom. The setting is spectacular: overlooking a luxury car showroom. The ambiance was great as well. But have you ever had one of those meals where the chef was trying too hard? Where dozens of ingredients are competing for your attention, rather than complementing each other? That was Showroom. We didn't finish any of our dishes. Every one sounded great on the menu, but not so much on the palate. Getting back to Franschhoek, we had a lovely and delicious lunch in the outdoor restaurant at Moreson Farms, called Bread and Wine. Finally, in the Heritage Square area of Cape Town, we loved our brunch at Savoy Cabbage. What character, and really tasty food.
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