Grotto Tavern, 9/12 Parish Square, Rabat, Malta
Located in the charming village of Rabat, the Grotto Tavern is an underground restaurant with adjoining 2000 year-old caves. Run by a fascinating couple, Didier and Sandra, the place is as close as you can get to a French bistro in Malta. With their bubbly characters and a genuine passion for good food and wine, the couple really do win you over and you cannot but partake in the jovial atmosphere of the restaurant.
Didier has been able to infuse some French regional specialities with the inevitable Maltese and Mediterranean influences he picked up while in Malta. The daily specialities are scribbled down on a board next to the bar area and usually consist of a few of Didier’s successful experiments. If you are unsure of what to choose, Sandra will be more than happy to find out a little bit about your tastes and suggest an ideal plate. From succulent veal, beef and rabbit dishes to fresh fish, cheese and vegetables, it is all here. There is also the possibility of having your meal cooked over a grill or marble stove directly on your table. The fondues and raclettes are ideal for sharing.
Their extensive wine list is nothing short of excellent and the variety and quality available would even put many of the local wine bars to shame.
The verdict is that the Grotto Tavern is a genuine diner set in the square of an evocative town. A place to sample some creative French cuisine in a traditional Maltese setting. A real one of a kind.