A drop of wine and local bites | Legligin

Legligin, on the corner of Old Bakery Street and St Lucy’s Street, just a block away from the Manoel Theatre, tempts you in even as you’re driving by with its bright red, old school Valletta façade. 

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar
1 October 2015, 2:55pm
Valletta is home to many a wine bar, with old wine cellars making for a cosy meeting spot. 

Legligin, on the corner of Old Bakery Street and St Lucy’s Street, just a block away from the Manoel Theatre, tempts you in even as you’re driving by with its bright red, old school Valletta façade. 

Once you’ve made you’re way down the steep steps you are surrounded by few rustic tables with mismatched crockery and wine stored in every corner, making for a cosy atmosphere. There are holes in the walls that act as a wine rack which keep the wine at the ideal temperature – no fancy wine coolers needed. 

The wine list is extensive with some of the popular quaffable wines available for under €20 and for those who know their grapes, a selection around 30 different bottles of the more expensive stuff from all corners of the globe, local, old world and new. Owner, Chris, truly knows his stuff and offers recommendations without pretentiousness. 

The tiny wine bar has recently been extended allowing for more tables and finally getting its own kitchen, though the series of small rooms ensures none of that cosy intimacy has been lost. 

Though the idea is to concentrate on the wine, the food is just as worthy of mention. One advantage of being in Valletta is the quality of bread served – crispy Maltese bread with soft inside perfect for mopping up the surprisingly good quality olive oil, and just as you’re fighting over the last piece of bread a fresh basket magically appears on the table. 

Food is served tapas-style, though with a Maltese twist – stuffed peppers, Greek dolmades, tender grilled quail breasts, home-made caponata and Maltese sausage, the food just keeps on coming.

The main dishes are served the same way as the starters – honey glazed pork and some of the best rabbit I have eaten in a long time, not forgetting the topped up bread basket to mop up all the juices. 

The extension serves as a pasta house, offering heartier meals with a distinctively local touch. 

There was no such thing as dessert, which was good considering what we had actually eaten, however we were served with incredible home-made truffles, spiced with chilli, ginger and some other spices we could not really put our finger on – not before they were all devoured anyway. 

If you are planning a night at Legligin, plan for a rough morning the following day as flowing wine, good food and conversation tend to go on longer than you think and when you finally look at your watch you will find you’ve stayed longer than you should have. 

Legligin is open:

Monday to Friday from  1:00 pm - 1:00 am

Saturday - Sunday from 6:00 pm 1:00 am

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar graduated in economics from the University of Malta...