Gozo (Malta) recommendations?
I've been to Gozo (Malta's smaller more rural island) a couple of times but not in the past two years. Previously we've dined at Ta'Frenc (www.tafrencrestaurant.com/), Oleander in Xaghra, Aztec in Xaghra, Monkey's Paw in Mgarr, always enjoy an after beach cocktail at Glenneagles in Mgarr and a pea pie from Sphinx in Victoria when we're there.
Anyone have any recent Gozo experiences to share and recommend? We're staying above the harbour in Mgarr and will have a vehicle while there later this summer. I'd also be interested in lunch spots on Malta island as we'll be out sightseeing a few days.
Ta'Frenc is really excellent, though pricey. I liked how when you arrive, you're seated in the bar area first, offered to order a cocktail (nice classic Champagne-based cocktails for, I believe, EUR 10), and then given the dinner menu to study while having your drink. They even took our order before escorting us to our table. They were kind enough to allow us to split the aljotta - very nice rendition. Having had fish for lunch (see below), we went with duck breast (a special not shown on their online menu) and the rabbit - both prepared excellently. Extensive wine list runs the gamut in price, but I found an affordable, enjoyable Burgundy. Total bill came to about EUR 135. Will be certain to return.
Had lunch at Ta'Cenc (http://www.tacenc.com/content.aspx?id=141948), which is run by the eponymous hotel though located nowhere near it. It's on the southern side of the island (south of Sannat and tricky to find) and right smack on the cliffs, with a stunning view of the sea and Comino (photo below). Had ceviche of various local fishes, terrific grilled prawns, grilled tuna (cooked perfectly: nearly raw in the middle), grilled swordfish and lots of Cisk beer (I couldn't seem to drink my fill of this, really refreshing). Bill was EUR 65.
Ate one dinner at Café Jubilee (http://www.cafejubilee.com.mt/) in Victoria (appears to be a mini-chain) that was pretty mediocre. Prices are reasonable and portions are large.
There's a nice restaurant called Horizon, located right on the water next to the cove where the Salt Pans start. Just had beer (more Cisk), but the menu features a lot of fresh fish. Reasonable prices, too.
A little lunch place called Stephen's in Xaghra (just off the main square) sells tasty, freshly prepared pastizzi, fitira, arancini and the like at rock-bottom prices.
Thought of eating in Xlendi (beautiful setting), but all the restaurants seemed pretty pedestrian, pricey, and sorta facsimiles of one another. YMMV.
Ouch... I didn't think I'd get a ton of replies on this one but zero is disappointing. I'll provide a report when I'm back later in September as Gozo is really a good food destination unlike the big island of Malta that is dominated in touristy areas by "British" food/pubs (ie: gamon steaks, fish and chips, full English breakfasts and pints of bitter).