After serving his time in Namibia, Riccardo got bored of Johannesburg and moved to Cape Town to become one with the mountain. He spends his days trawling biscuit factories hoping to discover the Next Big Cookie Flavour and writing reviews for the BizLounge that he traditionally delivers four or five days after deadline.
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Lazy Sunday lunching at Fraai Uitzicht 1798

When was the last time you spent Sunday lunch at a place that made you never want to leave? I mean, when was the last time you felt so comfortable and so blissful that you genuinely wanted to stay till supper and for a few hours thereafter? Just recently I dragged my wife to Robertson on a blistering Sunday to review Fraai Uitzicht 1798, and it was just such a place.

By Riccardo Spagni 22 Nov 2010

Contemporary ballet at its best

It was my first contemporary ballet. I had visions of freakish, leotard-clad dancers prancing around on stage, cueing my sudden departure as I realise I'm just not cut out for that sort of thing. To complicate matters further, I had brought a mixed bag of friends with me.

By Riccardo Spagni 14 Jun 2010

The Grand Affair

I recently was told that I like nice stuff. Apparently this is a problem if I ever go to live in a third-world village in a country like, I don't know, South Africa. Whilst both of these points may be true, there is no doubt that The Grand is on my list of "nice stuff" that I like. It is like the bachelor pad of some recently divorced Russian billionaire; it manages to ooze class and substance whilst still feeling surprisingly modern.

By Riccardo Spagni 23 Apr 2010

Sinnfully delicious

Restaurant reviews are a tricky trade. It's impossible not to arrange a review in advance unless you are some ridiculously famous reviewer, which I am not. At the same time, restaurants have a tendency to bring their "A game" when a reviewer is in the building. By an incredible stroke of fortune, however, my dinner at Sinns went unnoticed until the end. The manager and staff had no idea which person in the restaurant was the reviewer until long after I'd eaten and drank to my heart's content. The upshot is that this may be the most unbiased review I've written for a while.

By Riccardo Spagni 10 Mar 2010

Theatrical dining at Vaudeville

There are many restaurants famed for their food. Many, too, are famed for their atmosphere. Vaudeville is one of the precious few that combines both atmosphere and fantastic food into one ridiculously impressive bundle. But it is not your atypical dining experience. In order to go to Vaudeville you need first to change your mindset. You are not merely attending a live performance, nor are you going out for a meal. Effectively, what this means is that you will be paying through your nose, sure, but you will be combining the cost of a fantastic three-course meal with a phenomenal show.

By Riccardo Spagni 2 Mar 2010

A ground breaking production of Pictures of You

When I went to see Pictures of You, I had no idea what to expect. I am unabashedly lazy and I will gladly admit that I did no research on it. So I was pleasantly intrigued when a little speech was given before the show started and we were given a bit of background. Also mention worthy was the fact that Premier Helen Zille was in the audience.

By Riccardo Spagni 12 Feb 2010

Kurt Schoonrad is Home Groan

It has been my experience that the most common reason for any comedian to do a one-man show is that he's feeling a bit out-of-pocket and needs to make the rent for the end of next month. This leads to a rather average rehash of said comedian's most popular jokes, the vast majority of which are only mildly funny at best. Even worse is the fact that most Capetonian comics have a tendency to make jokes that go far over this ex-Joburger's head. I only recently discovered where Lavender Hill was, you know! With much trepidation, therefore, I dragged myself to see Kurt Schoonrad.

By Riccardo Spagni 11 Feb 2010

A day at The J&B Met

I remember the first time I went to the J&B Metropolitan as if it was but a few years ago, so, having been there before I had a reasonable idea of what to expect. I have always maintained that I would never go to the Met without being in a tent. This year was no exception.

By Riccardo Spagni 3 Feb 2010

True Italian Style at Massimo's Pizza Club

I'm generally reasonably fussy when it comes to my food. Don't get me wrong, I'll eat anything as long as it isn't smoked chicken (don't ask). But whilst I find most restaurants and the vast majority of meals passable, I occasionally stumble across a place that blows me away. Massimo's Pizza Club is, by a mile, one of those restaurants.

By Riccardo Spagni 29 Jan 2010

Standing ovations for Cinderella on Ice

I had never seen an ice show before. There was that. And the lady I took with me looked breathtaking in her little black number. There was that too. So by the time I actually sat down in the Artscape's expansive Opera House, I was desperately trying to act cool and casual. Much to the chagrin of my partner, no doubt, I basically lost interest in the entire world around me within five minutes of the show starting. Cinderella on Ice is, without a doubt, unlike anything I have ever seen.

By Riccardo Spagni 21 Jan 2010

A beautiful Sleeping Princess

Watching a ballet - be it a contemporary or a classical ballet - is not something that appeals to all individuals. The thought of following a story line expressed only through the medium of dance, especially when it is restricted to a set of traditional movements, has about the same appeal as watching a foreign language film without subtitles. And yet...if you man up (or woman up) and go out there and watch a ballet, you find an amazing thing.

By Riccardo Spagni 20 Jan 2010

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