Newton Johnson remains a favourite stop on the Hemel-en-Aarde road just outside Hermanus. Good news is that the restaurant is back in business. A wine tasting here has once again the potential to progress to lunch. Anton Verhoogt from the local Fisherman’s Cottage consulted Newton Johnson on the menu and you might still find this bright eyed energy in the kitchen on the odd occasion. Theo van Niekerk, well known for his Van Der Bolt coffee truck, manages the operations at the restaurant with the experienced assistance of Suzette and Marcha in the kitchen. Open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday and for special events the new menu smacks of country fair and local produce with a variety of starters, three mains and a selection of charcuterie and cheese platters. Yes! There are sweet options to complete the meal. These include my personal favourite the Caffè Corretto – espresso with a shot of grappa. The perfect digestive to correct a vineyard indulgence.
I visited Newton Johnson at invitation of Marketing Manager Angelique McFarlane and tucked into the wood fired marrow bone starter that is accompanied with caramelized onions, red wine jus and toasted bread. Something different but bound to be a popular choice. At R68 this dish reflects starter prices generally. A charcuterie platter for two was shared. This platter is great value at R175 and offered substantial variety for leisurely snacking while we contemplated the Newton Johnson Southend Chardonnay. The fruit for this wine is grown on a cooler slope of vineyards opposite the Newton Johnson farm and offers dynamic flavours that cut through the creaminess of the cheese on the platter refreshing the palate. With vineyard views stretching out before you as you tuck in, this is the perfect way to while away the afternoon.
The Restaurant at Newton Johnson, Hemel-en-Aarde Road, Hermanus. Tel 021 200 2148 http://www.newtonjohnson.com Wednesdays – Sundays lunch only. Bookings required.