Expect a complete experience at this St Julian’s eatery that oozes Mediterranean charm
Grab an outdoor table and soak it all in.
For many, Palio’s restaurant, located on the grounds of the five-star Westin Dragonara Resort in St Julian’s, is a familiar name, synonymous with casual dining in an upscale setting.
A recent visit to this eatery, on a day when mother nature teased us with a relentless cat-and-mouse game of sun and clouds, was a choice way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, savouring scrumptious food in a laid-back environment.
We kicked off our meal with wine – what’s Sunday lunch without it, right? We settled on a half-bottle of Donnafugata La Bella Sedara, a deep ruby red option, which was dangerously smooth and delicious. Being so close to the sea inevitably works up an appetite for seafood, and the fritto misto for starters didn’t disappoint.
We tucked into a basket of freshly deep-fried fish including prawns, whitebait, calamari and sardines, a pleasantly varied mix that paired effortlessly with a garlic aioli dipping sauce.
Not overdoing it on starters left us with ample room for the generous main courses. My guest couldn’t resist the tagliata, served with rucola leaves, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan shavings and roasted potatoes, which turned out to be a winner. Served the right shade of pink, it was juicy, flavourful and cooked just right.
I, on the other hand, had a hard time choosing between a number of carby dishes – the vegetarian spinach risotto with spinach puree, gorgonzola cheese, pear and walnuts seemed interesting and tempting, as did the scampi ravioli.
However, on the staff’s recommendation, I opted for one of their star pasta dishes, and boy am I glad that I did. With the help of my guest (who was happy to oblige), I savoured a generous portion of porcini-filled cappelletti, tossed with sautéed Parma ham, mushrooms and creamed Parmesan. The dish was as tasty as it was rich – all ingredients in blissful harmony, and one I’d recommend.
We rounded off the meal with coffee rather than dessert – unless the zesty, home-made Crema di Limoncello counts as one. Whilst tempting, we literally had no room for sweets, but were told that the selection changes weekly, and all are home-made, including gluten-free options.
Currently open for dinner on Friday and Saturday and lunch on Sunday (it will open daily for dinner from June onwards), Palio’s is a pleasant choice all round, and is particularly good for family meals with plenty of space for kids to run around outside. Better still, until the end of April, kids aged five and under eat for free every Sunday lunch.
Also until the end of April, available every Friday and Saturday for dinner, Palio’s has a great offer on: choose between one pizza or pasta dish, dessert and a drink for €17.50 per person – an ideal option for larger tables and gatherings. With free parking available for all patrons at the resort’s underground carpark, we think a visit to Palio’s is as complete as they come!