06 July 2008
So much free time to read and swim, to have a drink whilst watching boats glide by in the harbour and going out for a lovely meal in the evening. Harrumph! Oh, well I can tell you about one of the lovely restaurants we visited.
One balmy night, we went to The Patina Restaurant We phoned ahead to book and mentioned there would be 2 vegetarians in the party. They are great meat-eaters in the north of Cyprus and there is not always much on the menu for us veggies.
The restaurant must have been a pretty good sized villa at one time, but had been converted. The restaurant inside and out was beautifully furnished and the grounds were lovely. It was actually one of the few places where we saw lush grass. We were greeted as we came out of our car by the manager, who guided us in to a relaxed seating area outside, to have drinks, served with a variety of nuts and olives, while we perused the menu.
We moved to our table on the terrace and sipped our drinks while we awaited our meal. I have to say the service was very good, we were served each course by two waiters accompanied by the manager, who was always ready to have a chat. First we were served some bread, olives, olive oil and two dishes to share of soft cheese with bread sticks. I really liked the cheese dish, which was beautifully presented. I wish I had taken a photo. There were three rounds of the cheese, which seemed to be feta cheese mixed with soft cheese and basil and then seasoned. Yum.
I decided on the vegetable & halloumi stack for a starter, as did Graham and his mum and it turned out to be as good as it sounded. Stacks of chargrilled aubergine, halloumi, courgette, avocado and carrot, served with mustard and balsamic vinegar.
Graham's dad bucked the trend and plumped for Kalamari.
For our main course, Graham and I had a bit of a dilemma. There were no veggie main courses, but we had been told that we could adapt any of the main courses. We decided to have the tagliatelle in a creamy mushroom sauce. It should have included salmon, but we asked for it without. At this point the manager came over to listen to our order and said "But no!" and disappeared. We thought, "Can we not have the tagliatelle?".
He came back with two skillets to show us. On hearing that vegetarians were coming for dinner, the chef had whipped up something especially for us.
We were served a sizzling skillet with vegetables cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, topped with mashed potato, then mozzarella. It was really tasty and we so appreciated that they had gone to the trouble of preparing something for us in anticipation of our arrival.
But, it doesn't end there, they also served us a side plate of the tagliatelle we had ordered as well, which was hard to resist as it was packed with mushroom flavour and cooked to perfection. So we all dug in!
Graham's dad choose a lamb dish and Graham's mum had a chicken dish.
We had a good break after that, thankfully. We were entertained by an owl doing aeronautics above us and insects chattering in the trees and bushes. But, we decided to have dessert anyway, maybe an unwise move after so much food, but it looked so good! Graham had the cheesecake. I loved the presentation. Isn't that flower so cute?
I just wanted something to cool me down. It was still so hot and I didn't think the other diners would appreciate me diving into the pool fully clothed while they were trying to have a nice meal, so I ordered some ice cream.
The meal finished with the obligatory coffee and liqueurs on the house. We decided on some mint liqueur, which was a lurid, lurid green, which I am sure I would never contemplate drinking at home, but sitting here on a beautifully evening, it tasted delicious and seemed like the perfect end to a truly lovely meal.
Roll on our next holiday!