Best place for a first date - Papannis Wine Bistro

Why struggle with conversation over drinks or an overpriced, undercooked restaurant meal when you can have a lovely stroll in our majestic city of Valletta preferably when it is more quit at the twilight of day. After going thru the wide mains street just after passing by Cordina’s cafeteria, corner with Ascot House I recommend you turn on your left, down on your way to Manoel’s theatre but turn left again on your first turning and just next door to Marks and Spencer in straight street there is a lovely family run restaurant which I recommend whole heartily. This is my third visit and whenever I went the team at this particular place provided a faultless dining experience and a beautiful way to spend the evening.
In my opinion this lovely little restaurant is one of Valletta’s best kept secrets. Infused with the romance of Italy, this quiet, yet lively Mediterranean trattoria cannot fail to delight with its infectious atmosphere. The place is lively, the staff work fast but are respectful of your privacy. Papannis is one of my favourite restaurants in the Maltese capital within the Lm30 price range. Dinner for two with a good wine will leave you with a wonderfully full stomach and only a mildly depleted wallet.
From the moment you are ushered through the doors by the attendant, Papannis impresses you. The interior is tasteful and feels very warm, the service discreet, and the fresh daily menu, written with chalk on the main board, brims with delightful suggestions.
I love the way this little restaurant is decorated like an old maltese house and the dark wood and furniture complement very much with the golden lime stone. I also love the little wooden bridge that divides the open kitchen from the restaurant in a way that all dinners can see the chefs preparing their dishes.
The freshness and availability of ingredients means that they have no set menu. No fuss, a wonderfully fresh selection of dishes on the day. I am always disappointed with the wine selection but the staff are very helpful and since not matter what a choice of carnivore's selection will be suggested I was after the good-looking fresh fish which was on display at the end of main bar I went for a lovely bottle of chilled Gavi di Gavi white wine.
We enjoyed the very simple bruschetta with sweet tomatoes and olive oil. I like the way that the bread is warmed 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 whole monkfish which was served with a lovely selection of fresh shellfish, octopus and calamari which were cooked in just lemon juice olives oil and their own juices,
My date whom is crazy about pasta, had a lovely dish of penne served in a lovely (I cleaned the sauce from the plate with some maltese bread) gorgonzola cheese sauce. We washed it all down with the rest of the lovely Italian wine.
Regretfully both of us had no space left for dessert and so we just chose to have some coffee, compliments of the lady of the house. So once again the whole team did not disappoint even if they had a full house. Lovely food, lovely atmosphere, lovely service, lovely company so all I can say for another time I gave myself, my date and most importantly our stomach a night to remember.
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