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“We are really thrilled with the initial response to Big Easy Winebar & Grill“ says Markus Fritz, General Manager of Hilton Durban. “Diners have been most complimentary about how laid-back the restaurant is and… about the food! There is no other venue like this in the city centre and I think this is also a pleasant surprise for guests.”
With Head Chef, Janine Fourie at the helm, the restaurant’s culinary emphasis is on fresh, locally sourced produce, free range and organic meat and fresh seafood. With a commitment to farm-to-table delivery, the menu is a taste sensation from across the nation, delivered to perfection. The Big Easy serves a fresh, seasonally driven menu, sourcing ingredients and produce from artisan suppliers and featuring classic dishes, authentic local specialties and Ernie’s personal favourites.
Alongside Ernie Els signature wines, the bar is stocked with an extensive collection of selected quality wines, many of which are available by the glass, and feature up and coming wine-makers. Wine aficionados will also be able to enjoy the entire Ernie Els collection comprising 10 wines, as well as Ernie Els Vintage wines from 2002 and 2006.
To complement the wine selection, a comprehensive portfolio of local craft beer, fine whiskeys, cognacs and cocktails is available, ensuring that there is something for everyone. Sommelier, Eric Botha is on hand to add his considerable knowledge and advice to the dining experience.
The interior of the restaurant focuses on comfort, with a contemporary South African aesthetic. The Chefs Table and tastefully appointed Private Dining Room are welcome additions, to the usual restaurant layout.
A lounge, with large screen TV monitors, for watching… golf (and other sporting events) and a large Bar with an impressive wine bottle display forming a dramatic floor to ceiling backdrop, dominates the space at the east end, while the dining area, looking onto the large Open Kitchen, is unobtrusively cordoned off by the ‘bottle wall’.
The Els influence can be seen throughout with many personal touches, including custom-made furniture and a feature wall filled with memorabilia, replica trophies and images giving the venue a homely ambiance; while in the Private Dining Room, guests have the opportunity to sit down in comfortable style, as if in the company of ‘The Big Easy’ himself.
Outside, the stylish Terrace is ideal for al fresco dining and chilling. A foliage wall, as well as locally sourced furniture and accents, honours South Africa’s rich artistic heritage and natural beauty.
Over the coming months, Big Easy Winebar & Grill will be introducing Sunday Jazz Sessions, regular events and wining and dining specials.