THE SETTING

Nestled in the heart of bustling Hillcrest, Stretta Café & Grill is frequented by patrons from all over the Upper Highway area. Not only is it a popular choice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the restaurant’s position on Old Main Road also makes it the perfect go-to for coffee breaks, business meetings, and evening drinks. The interior of the restaurant gives off an industrial vibe with a modern twist, all the while transporting one to the small-town localities of Italy. Exposed ceilings and spherical hanging lights wrapped in white canvassing hint at Stretta’s laidback atmosphere, while black and white tiling further accentuate the Italian theme. The restaurant also boasts two outdoor areas: the deck found at the entrance of the building, as well as the new outdoor space at the back of the restaurant, complete with umbrellas and glass perimeter, perfect for sundowners after a hard day at work. Overall, Stretta’s setting is comfortable and accessible, making it the perfect spot for anyone at any time.

THE SERVICE

I feel that the service at Stretta is something that has always set them apart and that has played a major role in the restaurant’s success. Every time I go to Stretta, my companions and I are greeted warmly, are immediately led to our table by someone ready to take our drinks orders and makes us feel as comfortable as possible. On that note, one’s drink is never empty for long and the waiters are always happy to guide you through Stretta’s extensive menu which includes the traditional pizza and pasta dishes as well as delicious mains, steaks, and even hamburgers. Attesting the server’s patience, I usually ask to be guided through their cake selection, or enquire what their favourite milkshake is, Bar One or Coffee?

THE FOOD

The most important aspect of any restaurant is, of course, the food. I have walked away from every single meal I’ve had at Stretta with the biggest smile of satisfaction. As I mentioned earlier, the menu is extensive and caters for many preferences. The breakfast options include everything from breakfast paninis, breakfast pans, traditional hot breakfasts, omelettes, as well as lighter options such as muesli and cooked oats. The coffee is also one of the best in town. On the main menu, one is really spoiled for choice, with fresh salads, toasted wraps, and burgers, to pizza, pasta and a range of different mains, it’s a wonder that I’m able to make up my mind!

To overcome my indecisive nature, I have developed a provisional plan-of-action. For example, if I have a pizza I generally go for the Allisimo which has all my favourite things on it (feta-avo-bacon). Whilst if I have a pasta dish, I’ll usually order either the Pollo Pesto or Gorgonzola which are beautifully rich, creamy, and full of flavour. I think it goes without saying that I always choose the large portion. On my most recent visit however, I stepped out of my carb-focused comfort zone and tried the Pollo Zucca which consists of incredibly tender chicken strips served in a delicious creamy spinach and butternut sauce with a side of your choice. Luckily for me, 3 in my company were on the banting bandwagon so I got to tuck into some crispy parmesan onion rings as well, which by the way, are out of this world.  For a food-lover like myself, Stretta is a cornucopia of well-made and delicious Italian food that leaves me deliberating which dish I’m to try next, even though I very well know it will be that Pollo Pesto Pasta.