Sunday, 5 August 2012

Pizzaria Italiana La Sardegna Da Gino

This post is dedicated to anyone who takes their pizza seriously. Like me. So let me explain the deal with Gino's (for short). We decided to escape the overbearing heat in Nicosia with a weekend away to BH's holiday home in Paphos, and managed to discover the awsomest pizza in Cyprus, and the best I've tried in my 21 years. We went to Gino's. Although it is in the main road of Apostolos Pavlos in Kato Paphos, you don't really think much of it at first glance. It's not that elegant, neither does it look exciting. In fact everything is in the colours of the Italian flag which, trust me, is not that original for an Italian restaurant in Cyprus. However, Gino himself is Italian so he has to know something about pizza, plus it came very highly recommended by a friend who has been a regular there since she was a little girl, so we decided to give it a try.

They don't make reservations (too many people, too little time), so we arrived fairly early and waited for the host to greet us and prepare a table for us. We waited and waited, and then waited some more. In the end, we just caught a waiter and asked for a table for six. We waited a bit more and finally we sat down. It was small and crowded. We got the menus, decided on what we would get and waited. Waited, waited, waited. After two failed attempts and one successful one, we managed to give our order in. It goes without saying that there was quite a bit of waiting for our food to be served (BH looked at me with his sad puppy look and whispered in my ear "I'm hungry". I just wanted to give him a biscuit and a cuddle!)

After some more waiting, we were served. The menu was quite extensive, but BH and I settled for this salami and gorgonzola pizza to share (apologies for the quality, an iPhone camera can only be this good!).

At this point I should add that Gino is known for his enormous portions. We got the medium sized one, which probably looks like one of the extra large pizzas served in other pizza places.

 On top of that we got a bruschetta and some garlic bread (served in the form of a pizza) as starters. Needless to say that despite BH's appetite which is similar to the appetite of a black hole, there were some generous leftovers. Although he put up a serious fight, he was defeated by Gino. Nevertheless, the crust was thin and crispy around the edges, the cheese was bubbling, It was proper pizza. And we paid 11Euros per head. Yes, 11Euros for proper pizza in Paphos.

So, if you want to give Gino a try, and I most certainly urge you to do, arrive early, be prepared to wait, and enjoy incredibly delicious pizza among the locals (that's how you know the good places from the bad ones!), and away from the tacky touristy places down at the harbour.

You'll find it at:
70, Apostolos Pavlos Avenue,
Kato Paphos
(+357) 26933399

Enjoy! x

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Casa Vieja - Nicosia

Now that I moved back to Cyprus (until September that is), I figured it would be nice to include some bits and bops of the life here (as I write this I keep thinking of the political scene in Cyprus and how many never-ending posts I could write on the subject, but no worries, I'm not going to tire you with my ranting!). Nevertheless, this post is about one of my former favourite restaurants (keep reading).

Casa Vieja (translating to Old House) is a Spanish restaurant in the heart of Old Nicosia which used to be one of my favourite restaurants because of the ambiance (particularly of the garden), the great food and extensive menu (37 different tapas!). The prices were quite good too as we used to pay just under 20euros per person for a filling meal of 5 or 6 tapas (no wine). Then, imagine my delight when I received a text message a couple of weeks ago saying that there was an offer of 50% off all a la carte food just for that week. I called BH instantly, told him the exciting news, hang up, and called the restaurant to make the reservation.

We ended up going with another couple I knew they would love food and the restaurant. In fact we all would if the service wasn't so bad. They messed up the order, bringing the wrong food, but insisting we did order what they brought us, despite any of *my* protests. Maybe it's an ego thing but I've been going there for years. I know the food, and I know what I ordered. By the time the waiter messed up the fourth dish (which although it was delicious, it was NOT what we ordered), I was too tired of complaining and asking for the correct dish. On top of that, the other couple ordered a seafood paella to share. It looked delicious, but although I understand paellas take longer to prepare, it arrived more than an hour later, and they weren't that busy!

As we left I was disappointed and sad. Casa Vieja was one of my all-time favourites, but now everytime I think of returning I remember the face of the obnoxious waiter. It's a shame really.

PS: I know the post reads a bit bitter, but if I write about things I like, it's only fair I also write about things I don't like, n'est pas? Like rude waiters.


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