Friday, June 29, 2012

View or Food?

There are great restaurants in Valetta. There are also restaurants with wonderful views. Haven't found anywhere that does both yet.

Three weeks ago, on our first night in Valetta before travelling over to Gozo, we tried a new restaurant with a fabulous view of the Grand Harbour at dusk.

The style was Italian - pizza and pasta - and the courtyard in which we ate was lovely.

We should perhaps have left when the extensive wine menu was revealed to be a front for a fridge containing two bottles of local white and lots of local chardonnay. We don't much like chardonnay. Opting for a glass, not a bottle, of  'La Reserve' we heard a voice from the kitchen shout 'Two house whites.'

My chair wobbled. I changed it for one from another table. This one also wobbled. I realised the floor needed changing, not the chair.

The three parts of our meal - a side salad and two pizzas - were delivered to our table at roughly five-minute intervals.

The light faded. We asked for some illumination on the table (another table had a lamp) and were provided with a candle with the official power of one hundredth of a glimmer. We got the giggles.

I was unable to identify the sauce that lay between my cheesy pepperoni and the pizza base - it may have been based on bottled tomato paste.

Mrs T had asked for a thin-crust pizza. This brief had been achieved by hitting the centre of a normal-crust pizza with a mallet. Her margarita seemed to have no base whatsoever in the centre of the pizza giving her just a pile of tomatoey goop which fell off each slice as she lifted it.

The la Reserve and the sparkling water were hard to tell apart in the dark (the candle blew out in the breeze but we didn't really notice the difference). I would guess that the water had the hint of lemon and the wine the hint of apple. In fact the wine may have been diluted cider.

We watched the lights in the harbour glow, pretending to still be eating long after the desire to consume any more than the outer crust (which was pleasant) had gone. We picked at the salad, which turned out to be the most expensive thing we had ordered.

At one point I had an adrenaline-rush caused by an ugly dog which crept to my side trying to beg pizza. It sat very still but a crash-weld of a pug and a beagle is scary in the dark, especially when the pug bit is the front end. A cat wandered in. There was a brief canine/feline stand-off which ended when Puggle barked and the cat died laughing.

33 euros for the entertainment which included an easily overheard commentary coming out of the kitchen window.

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