Set in the narrow streets of Mdina, is Ciappetti Restaurant. Walking through a common town house door you think you are going inside someone’s house for lunch. Through a little courtyard set with tables for 2; no doubt for anyone who wants to be romantic, tinkling wind chimes and small fountains, one finds the friendly staff of this welcoming restaurant with a peaceful atmosphere . One may choose to sit inside or if favoured by a sunny day, one can sit outside in the inner courtyard adorned with grapevines and a fountain. In the evening the restaurant turns to a more chilled mood with candlelights and running water from the fountains; its the right mood to unwind after a stressful week!
I have been four times to this restaurant so far, I even made my son’s holy communion lunch here. I have also visited with my family and with friends. The location is perfect for everyone who is coming from the north or the south side of the island. When meeting up with friends we always had the issue of where to go as the main restaurants in Malta are either too far or too close to anyone. Ciappetti has made this decision easier for me as it it the right distance for anyone.
Ciappetti is one of my favourite restaurants not only for the convenience of its location, but of course the food. I guarantee anyone will satisfy their taste buds here. The menu is not a large one but it has enough choice to satisfy everyone’s appetites. The presentation is good – not too fussy and the portions are abundant….but not exaggerated! When sitting outside, I have noticed that the herbs are grown in the restaurant itself. I could easily spot basic herbs: lemon grass, mint, basil and rosemary. No wonder I felt at home already!
Any time I go to a restaurant I taste everyone’s dish and sometimes I tend to split a plate with a friend if I am indecisive on what to choose. Thankfully my friends are like me! Obviously I couldn’t skip this tradition at Ciappetti’s! When I tasted the food I felt like I was back in nanna’s house! The Maltese platters were fantastic ranging from the usual bigilla to a special tomato sauce which was the end of the world, complementing the warm fresh ftira served with the platter. The rabbit liver is to die for, the chicken was not dry and the vegetables were fantastic! The potatoes were home made not the frozen chips you buy by bulk! The fillet was juicy and tasty that made my mouth water at the sight of it! The pasta (which lacked the selection I must say) was good too, the pesto tasted fresh and didn’t stick in my mouth like it usually does with the ready made ones! The wine adhered to everyone’s palate and we got more than one bottle! This does not mean I was not able to taste the glorious desserts! The apple pie and straciatella ice-cream are my favourite desserts.
The service is a tiny bit slow for those who just want to eat and get out but who would want to rush out from such a place?!! Even if you opt to linger on with your dinner and end up the last table to leave the restaurant, you are welcome to stay unlike other places in Malta, where they will just get you the bill to politely ask you to leave!
The average price per person at Ciappetti is about €30 including starters, main, wine, liquors, coffees, desserts.
Whenever I have a lazy Sunday or need a chilled evening with a good meal and a few good friends, Ciappetti is my first option!
Ciappetti restaurant, 5, St. Agatha’s Esplanade, Mdina.