Thursday, December 07, 2006


I can't believe it's been already a week again since we've returned from our trip to magical island. I am talking about my birthday party trip to Gozo. I really love Malta's little sister island. It holds many dear memories of my childhood and everytime I return, I try to sipp in the atmosphere as much as I can. Well, and since this year has been quite a heap of change for me, we thought we are going to celebrate my day in a very special way. And what would not be better than to linger a bit in luxury... even if it's just for a day or an evening? Sometimes you need to spoil yourself with something that is out of the ordinary, right?! So my special treat for this coming year was a well deserved weekend break in Gozo and a dinner at my absolute favorite restaurant in the WORLD!!! MMmmmmhhh which one would that be??? Of course it was at the one and only Ta' Frenc Restaurant! And I can already tell you this much, it was an experience in many senses.. culinary, visual... and sensual...

The excitement is always building up before we explore new places and this time it was really buidling up to this special evening and all the sensations that came with. I was also looking foward to seeing the new things that have been happening around the restaurant. Apart from being literally the most stylish posh restaurant on the Maltese Islands, Ta' Frenc has recently launched their own label house champagne. That is truly unique.

An evening at Ta' Frenc always starts in an elegant way. As soon as you'll enter you are greeted by restaurant manager Joseph. True to tradition, we seated ourselves at the newly refurbished lounge area to have a drink before dinner. It hasn't changed too much over the years but I love how they fused the old farmhouse structures with elegant modern interior.

Our evening began with a bang - tasting Ta' Frenc's Medi Sec Champagne. Those little bubbles were teasing me... tingling first one my toungue and then in my tummy... what a delicious and delightful feeling! After a few sipps we felt happy and mellow.

The restaurant is full of surprises and art. Right by the entrance is one of the beautiful Maltese clocks by Horace, Mdina's famous artist.

As we emptied our bottle of champagne and ordered our dinners, we were being invited into the main dining room of the restaurant. Since we still had a few minutes, we asked Joseph if we could see the new wine cellar. We were being led to a small door and winding stairs took us suddenly down to a haven for wine. And how beautiful it turned out! You have to see it with your own eyes to be able to appreciate all the fine details, from the incredible candle holders, to the cuttlery and the painting on the wall, to the 500 different wines and many stone arches, you don't know what to feast your eyes on first! You can actually book the wine cellar for small functions or weddings... what a lovely idea!

Mario, the executive chef and his team take great care in giving you a special culinary experience that is also visually very appealing (have a look at the plate with the quail). All vegetables are enhanced with thinly sliced and roasted almonds. I also like the little extras and teasers (appetizers) that are part of the menu, such as a mushroom soup and the rasberry sorbet (that neutralizes your tastebuds before you continue with dessert). Mario also uses fresh herbs that come from the restaurants own garden.
As a starter I ordered the house salad and as a main I had tender fresh fish of the day.

My personal culinary highlight of the evening was the dessert, triple chocolat: white, medium and dark chocolat! Seriously, every little piece I took, I let it melt on my tongue and closed my eyes in pure ecstasy! If you love chocalat, you'll devour it. Absolutly divine!

The sweetest surprise of the evening came at the end of the dinner: a mousse au chocolat birthday cake by Ta' Frenc. I couldn't believe my eyes, I didn't expect it at all... isn't that so sweet?!

Ahhhh, you made me smile... you know who you are! Thank you!

After dinner we were invited to some charob and herbal tea. It is prepared and brewed right there. Of course I tried both.. highly recommended to round up a great dinner.

Ta' Frenc Restaurant is not a simple place to go out and dine, it is an experience. It is as beautiful in summer with their beautiful terraces and lush gardens as it is in winter time when it is so cozy and elegant. They have a great menu for the festive season, have a look and check it out on their website.

For the ultimate dining experience, treat your special one and yourself to something divine at Ta' Frenc.


Steve Holmes said...

I whole heartedly agree with your review of the wonderful Ta Frenc restuarant, my wife and I hve been regulars there on our frequent visits to Gozo over the years.
If you have not tried it yet It-Tmun in Victoria is also well worth a visit.

George said...

I concur with Steve. It might not be as well known as Ta' Frenc (which is in a class of its own) but Patrick at It-Tmun (Victoria) certainly has the knowledge and passion (not to mention the wine list) to make it yet another enjoyable experience on Gozo.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to Steve and George.

Patrick Buttigieg
It-Tmun Victoria

Malta said...

Hi Patrick,

after all the raves I can't wait to try out It-Tmun on my next trip to Gozo!
See you there (& here) ;-)

John Kemp - England said...

I really don't know what is all this fuss about 'it-Tmun'! The place from the outside looks like a converted garage and when you get in the only view from the restaurant is the view of cars passing by (coool really nice view ... what ever!).

I absolutely love 'Ta' Frenc Restaurant'. The place looks heavenly from the outside, like a paradise of its own surrounded with fields. And while eating in the court yard, you have the view of half Gozo round you. I can tell you, you will forget all your problems as soon as you enter in there.