Da Rocco Trattoria and Pizzeria M'Skala Malta - “After so many wannabe, finally a real Trattoria Romana”

This little trattoria in a quiet back street of M’Skala was a true gem of a find. The food was by far and the most authentic and delicious my wife and I had experienced so far, better than most food we had in restaurants in Rome.

Service was absolutely superb with waiters who seemed genuinely excited by the food and wine of the region. A really excellent experience.

Infused with the romance of Vecchia Roma, this quiet, yet lively Mediterranean trattoria cannot fail to delight with its infectious atmosphere and the view which nowadays has become a rarity in my little country. The place is lively, the staff work fast but are respectful of your privacy.

Lunch for six including 2 bottles of good wine, drinks, coffees, sweets and liqueurs will leave you with a wonderfully full stomach and only a mildly depleted wallet at 140 euro for the six of us.

From the moment you are ushered through the doors by the affable wife of the owner and the owner himself, Da Rocco, impresses you. The interior is tasteful and feels very warm, the service discreet, and the fresh daily menu, written in hard cover and leather bound menus (menus usually reserved for 1st class restaurants), brims with delightful suggestions.

I love the way this little restaurant is decorated like an old Maltese house and the wood and furniture complement very much with the golden lime stone.

The freshness and availability of ingredients means that the menu has to be changed very often, so often that most of the specialities have to be conveyed verbally by the owner himself who thanks to the excitement shown while explaining the specialities will make you put the menus aside and leave it up to him to do the choice for you. No fuss, a wonderfully fresh selection of dishes on the day.

My favourite wines are the reds however as most of the group wanted a young fresh wine for lunch I opted for 2 bottles of Vezzolano Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco, a slightly robust and little sweet Rose wine from the Piemont Region a steal at 14 euro a bottle, being served at a restaurant.

We enjoyed the very simple complimentary bruschetta with sweet tomatoes, garlic and olive oil while waiting for the dishes. I like the way that the bread is toasted separately and the cold ingredients are added just before being served then cooked together.

Service was warm and timely and it is nice to be spoilt and being looked after. As mains I had a lovely Misto di Pesce which was served with a lovely selection of fresh shellfish, langoustine, King prawns white bait and calamari which were cooked in just lemon juice, olives oil and their own juices.

My wife whom is crazy about pasta, had a lovely dish of Paccheri cor Ragu served in a lovely (I cleaned the sauce from the plate with some maltese bread) lean minced beef & pork, carrots,parsley & tomato juice sauce.

My wife's sister had some Papardelle con Funghi Porcini and they were smelling so good and her brother had a lovely saddle of rabbit served in a lovely gravy and own juice.

The in-laws had there tradional choice which is fillet asked to be cooked well done and served with porcini mushrooms sauce and from the look on their face and the way the plates looked (a deserted island thanks to the fresh Maltese bread) made me think that that was a delicious dish too, another dish 'da leccarsi i baffi' . All dishes come with fresh salad, warm aubergines and pepperoni, baked potatoes with fennel and some miserable French fries which in my opinion where the only let down of this exquisite meal.

We washed it all down with the rest of the lovely Italian wine.

The portions were massive yet we left some space for dessert and again we were left with a choice of various sweet pastries which even if of Sicilian tradition and I believe that they are flown over daily from Sicily and pretty expensive at 4 euro each pastry they were so beautifully presented and made our mouth water. My Cassata Sicilian with ricotta the pecora and smooth marzipan and cherries was to die for. The same was the chocolate ice cream which my wife went for being a chocoholic. We all had our share of coffees and the Liqueurs which were a compliment of the lady of the house.

So once again I can say that the whole team did not disappoint even if they had a full house. Lovely food, lovely atmosphere, lovely service, so all I can say for another time I gave myself, my wife and whoever would like to join and most importantly our stomach a meal to remember.

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