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Luna at Palazzo Parisio | Dining in the garden

The weather is perfect for outdoor dining right now - not too hot, not too cold. No one does dining in the garden better than Palazzo Parisio.

There are few places I return to time and time again. Palazzo Parisio is one of them. Nothing beats spending the afternoon in their immaculate baroque gardens. How many places can offer the perfect meal surrounded by luscious green grass, brightly coloured flowers and tables packed with well-dressed diners making the most of the warm Mediterranean climate.

My favourite time of year for the great outdoors in Malta is in between seasons, when the weather is warm enough to be outside but not so hot it will have you running for any little bit of shade – or more likely airconditioning! The garden at Palazzo Parisio is always picture perfect but these times of year are extra special.

Strolling through the gigantic doors and through the 18th century palace and out into the bright sunshine of the garden really makes you feel that you are living in a fairytale. The beautiful gardens instil a sense of calm from the moment you arrive.

We settle down at our table, listening to the soothing sounds of the fountain just a stone’s throw away and sip on cold white wine while mulling over the menu. The lunch menu is short and the Italian influence is evident even at first glance. Salads, pastas, mains are available in limited supply – three to four dishes each, with an added snack and sandwich menu.

We went for the whole hog, pasta for starters, beef tagliata for main and even dessert. Sure it was the middle of week and this was technically a working lunch, when you’re in that kind of environment, why not enjoy it to the max?

We started with ravioli, freshly made in-house, and stuffed with simple ricotta and spinach. Sticking to the simple theme, they were dressed with butter and sage. Add a little cheese and you have the perfect starter. For me there were a couple of ravioli too many, which I can never leave on my plate and then I’m already full when the main course arrives, but I can understand that others may want the extra few forkfuls.

For mains we had an Angus Aberdeen beef tagliata, cooked to perfection and served with new potatoes, rocket and Parmesan flakes. The problem when the food is cooked well is that you keep eating even after you are full. And this was certainly the case on this afternoon. However when the faced with the option of dessert we still went for it – a vanilla crème brulee served with raspberry sorbet. It’s funny how that full feeling goes away at the first taste of sugar!

Is it expensive? Sure. But you need to take into consideration what you’re paying for. Ingredients are fresh and some of the food is pretty labour intensive (think fresh pasta) but this isn’t all you are paying for. You get to live in a fairytale castle for a couple of hours surrounded by green grass and plenty of trees. Someone needs to look after the trees, that someone needs to be paid. If you’re going to enjoy them you should be expected to pay for them.

This may not the kind of place you stop by for a quick lunch in between meetings but it’s definitely one of my first choices when organising any kind of occasion.

Rating

****

What I ate

Homemade ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach dressed in butter and sage

Beef tagliata

Vanilla crème brulee with raspberry sorbet

Total: €50 excluding drinks

29, Victory Square,

Naxxar

Tel: 21412461

Opening hours: Monday – Wednesday 9:00am- 6:30pm, Thursday – Sunday 9:00am – 11pm

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