A review with a view

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For my second review, wandering around the promenade of St. Julian’s Bay, we decided to check the menus of all seaside restaurants that seemed quite appealing to us, and see what they had to offer for their vegetarian guests.

We prepared ourselves to get footsore and very hungry before finding the perfect place. But – after checking about 3 – we already found the one restaurant whose menu sent us into raptures: Fresco’s Cafe & Restaurant.

For not being a vegetarian restaurant, Fresco’s menu offered at least 2 vegetarian dishes for every course. We were enthused by the creative treatments of each dish: compositions/arrangements of different ingredients and herbs and not the same as in every other restaurant.

Fresco’s looks like a cosy little place from the outside. It has a relaxing interior with some tables, as well as a really bright outside terrace with a panoramic view over Balluta Bay. I appreciated this view, since the place is also surrounded by plants and beautiful bushes. The terrace is even encircled by windows so that you’d be protected on windy or rainy days. If it were the case: brave the weather, enjoy a vegetarian dish and still have a great view – apparently I couldn’t imagine a better place.

There were also tables outside of the restaurant I couldn’t figure out where they belonged to (I found out later they did belong to Fresco’s). They didn’t have the same furniture as the actual restaurant and seemed a little bit out of place. I would have never taken a seat there. Fortunately, you couldn’t see this area too well.

The interior and the terrace were so calming; a mixture of Mediterranean and modern furniture in grey and dark brown wood set you in a comfortable mood. I just felt good at this place.

The Mediterranean aspect is mirrored in the menu. It mostly contained of pasta, pizza, risotto and salads. For dessert you could choose from a variety of freshly delivered sicilian biscuits (which looked so tasty – if I haven’t been so full, I would have definitely tried one).

Already hungry by that time and having read the menu one too many times, we wanted to order. We had to wait for the waiter for about 10 minutes, while the one we told we wanted to order walked around all the time cleaning the tables. We got a little bit confused / annoyed by this (sadly, we had a few more of these situations – the first waitress didn’t really talk to us at all – and, for instance, I couldn’t even tell her if I liked my dish). But when a waiter eventually showed up, he was the most charming and kind waiter I met in a long time. So the waiting for the waiter saga was forgiven.

I chose an artichoke, lemon and rosemary risotto and my friend tried gnocchi with roasted pumpkin (with gorgonzola and pine nuts) for the first time in her life. My friend let me taste her dish and it was tasty, too – I love gorgonzola, I love pumpkin – but I personally prefer pumpkin for autumn and winter times. Those times when you start wearing pullovers and scarfs is the right time to excessively use pumpkin in your meals.To put it bluntly: the risotto was awesome and I highly recommend this dish. Every ingredient was present in a subtle but still zesty way. I haven’t been aware of the fact that this combination could emerge in such a delicate way.

When I relive the visit I come to the conclusion that Fresco’s is definitely worth a go. It’s a little more expensive but still moderate and you might have to accept some waiting time to order.

But the calm and friendly atmosphere, the delicious dishes, the view and the fact that also gluten-free meals are served more than compensate for that. My dish even gave me a push/impulse to try new recipes with the containing ingredients (a place of inspiration as it seems, as well). And next time I will try the Gozitan Goat’s Cheese Ravioli. Sound so good!

Monique Chambers

Monique started indulge in 2011 and has since created Indulge Me GIFT and Indulge Me FOOD and volume 1 of The Artists Directory - Malta. A marketing professional by trade, Monique's passion is to promote local talent and Malta in general. Free time is her biggest indulgence, when she can tinker in her craft room or the kitchen, or be selfish with a book, the sofa and good glass of wine (of course, wearing something beautiful and with freshly coiffed hair!)

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