One family’s passion…The story so far…
La Masseria is the culmination of the Ciman family’s passion for good, wholesome food. The fare is genuine, unpretentious Italian country cuisine prepared and nurtured, as recipes and traditions have been passed down from one generation to another. The word La Masseria means “ the farmhouse”, a homestead typical of Southern Italy, where fruits, grains, vegetables, are grown, and livestock kept, making it the embodiment of a completely self-sufficient way of life. La Masseria is where the fruits of the earth are gathered by the massaro, who ritualizes the process of growing, reaping and preserving. This is where seasons create the menu, simplicity is chef, and slow food is a way of life.
This is Lorenzo and Miki Ciman’s legacy, from which sprung La Masseria in1999, in Stellenbosch on the Blaauwklippen road. Initially started as a boutique cheesery, from where Miki, a cheese-maker, made and sold her sought-after products, then quickly extended to a small daytime restaurant as people flocked to sample her fresh produce, then add a glass of wine or two, and eventually, a restaurant emerged as people wanted more and more of the delightful goodies that were made fresh everyday on the premises. In time the cheesery made way for a full-blown Italian restaurant and the cheese operation was moved to other premises in Stellenbosch. In 2003, Miki, Lorenzo and their family moved La Masseria Restaurant to an old cellar in Eversdal, Durbanville, as the farm on which La Massseria was started, was sold. An apt move as this venue is an historical site, which is in keeping with the rustic appeal of the family’s restaurant. The Ciman’s daughters, Paola and Kiki slowly took over the apron strings and ownership of La Masseria in Durbanville, guided by their wonderful Italian heritage.
La Masseria enjoyed 9 successful years there, but on the meantime Miki stumbled upon a run-down house along the R44, and the family decided to bring La Masseria “home” to Stellenbosch and opened Agriturismo La Masseria in November 2010.With the Durbanville restaurant being sold in October 2011, the Ciman family has decided to concentrate solely on Agriturismo La Masseria - an old farmhouse on the R44, outside Stellenbosch, which is home to:
La Masseria Restaurant & Deli , Miki’s Formaggio e Fantasia (boutique cheese-making), Salumeria Ciman (Lorenzo’s charcuterie) and also plays host to the Family Farm (animal play farm) and Peppino’s (cement garden furniture). La Masseria is proud to have a loyal base of customers, who have supported us since the Stellenbosch days, followed us to the Durbanville area and now back to the current venue, all the while enjoying the quality of the authentic Italian food served in the restaurant and sold at various food shows and famers markets, the family’s sincere and natural hospitality, and from time to time, the delightful musical entertainment so ingrained in its tradition.Today, la famiglia comes together to produce fresh homemade pasta, bread, preserves, Italian meats (made by the inimitable singing host, Lorenzo Ciman), marinated goodies and, of course, the delectable Italian cheeses, some made on the premises and others outsourced by Miki. With breathtaking views over the Helderberg, it is no wonder that La Masseria is also a popular venue for parties, corporate functions and weddings. Feel free to chat to us about your special occasion.La Masseria also offers cooking classes and Italian charcuterie workshops , as well as a selection of their products for sale (on order), e.g fresh pasta, Italian homecured meats, fresh bread, etc. And, a food-to-go Menu is also available for you when entertaining at home: simply order 48hrs in advance from our various lasagnes, pasta dishes , as well as the Antipasto and Italian snack platters.
Miki, Lorenzo and family are hands-on, and together with a small core staff, take special care with each and every dish, which they prepare fresh for you each time. Remember good food takes some time, so sit back , relax and enjoy the dolce vita, while we endeavour to tickle your tastebuds.
Restaurant & Deli, R44, Stellenbosch (opposite Mooiberge Farmstall)