Stephen Travels

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Capistrano, Valletta, Malta

Capistrano (Valletta, Malta)

Although I was the first customer at Capistrano that evening, the place soon started to fill up with people who were clearly in the know. Located a couple of streets over from Valletta’s main drag, Capistrano attracts well-informed diners who have done their research: One isn’t likely to just stumble upon this place while they’re visiting the main sites in the Maltese capital.

Deep red fabric covered the walls, which were adorned with copper pots, plates, scales, plates, and lanterns. The soothing and addictive low-key instrumental music made me want to purchase the soundtrack as it caressed my ears while I studied the menu. Neither the waiter nor the busboy missed a single beat throughout my two-hour meal, maintaining well-paced and seamless service as I devoured yet another spectacular Maltese feast.

Fork and KnifeTry This: My waiter whetted my appetite with a complementary bruschetta and creamy vegetable soup served in an espresso cup on a slate tray that I accompanied with a white Maltese wine, Medina Chardonnay Girgentina. Then I moved on to chickpea fritters with goat cheese mousse, pea pureé, and roasted cherry tomatoes; rabbit tortelloni with pea pureé, crispy chorizo, and truffle butter; and pan-seared duck breast with Savoy cabbage, bacon, pumpkin pureé, and port wine jus, and an assortment of potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, and red bell peppers. After all those outstanding savory flavors, I capped my dinner with something terrifically sweet: lemon and lime cheesecake with a berry coulis, fresh berries, and strawberry ice cream.