Friday, 30 August 2013

Patio - Nicosia

Let me start this review by saying that this is one of the most beautiful bars I've ever been to. It's truly stunning.

Now that I've clarified this, let me go on to the actual evening.

We arrive at Patio and after the initial ohhs and aaahs upon seeing the decor, we notice the guy at the entrance of the yard holding a clipboard. I don't like guys/ladies at the entances of clubs/bars with clipboards. In fact, I absolutely loathe them. They remind me of the Armani/Burberry-clad, moisturizer-wearing men and the leggy blondes wearing clothes two sizes too small at the entrances of most clubs in Cyprus who think they are a bunch of rock stars just because they are holding said clipboard.

However, I won't continue my rant about clipboards as this particular clipboard-holding guy was rather nice, and after finding our reservation (don't even dare go there without a reservation) he led us to it and the two guys already sitting at our table. It seems that despite the almighty clipboard, supposedly to keep track of reservations, mistakes do happen. Anyway, after a 5-minute conversation between the clipboard guy and the two guys already sitting, we established that they sat down because some random guy at the door (without a clipboard obviously) told them they should go in so they sat down at some random table, but now they're going so if someone could cancel their order. Mistakes do happen of course, and if there's no space, there's no space but I'm not sure I'd be very happy if this happened to me. Nevertheless, even when the two guys left, the table was still set for five, while our reservation was for seven. After adding a chair for the time being we sit down.

Now let's all take a minute to appreciate the work of Patio's designer.

The girlfriends arrive and we have a look at the menu. Very imaginative to say the least - a bite of mojito salmon or a glass of psychotherapy anyone? However, somewhere along 'drink careful' I wondered why someone would invest so much money into making this a success but not proofread the menu.

However, to get down to the nitty gritty, we went for the 'sparkling salad' (seasonal salad which in the Greek description was described as 'sensational', with fruit, cherry tomatoes, caramelized walnuts, grana padano, spinach and red cabbage all dressed with a cinnamon and mint vinaigrette), halloumi panna cotta with a fig-honey gel and mint powder, a milonga (grilled spanish beef tenderloin marinated with herbs and served with chimichurri sauce) and a small cheese and charcuterie platter. For drinks we ordered a pitcher of red sangria, two dragon kisses, and a beer for the Boy who wanted to maintain his masculine ways as possible being in the company of a bunch of females.

The sangria came with a plastic ball on top of the jug to keep the fruit - which I'm not sure what it did for the drink - so we poured everything into the jug, gave it a stir, poured into wine glasses and drank away.

Although the sangria was suitably fruity, it was also too... cinnamony. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish my glass because of the strong cinnamon taste and neither did the other two girls. However, the girls with the dragon kisses were very happy with their drinks, so maybe the sangria was just a poor choice.

The Boy's beer was rather warm, but the Boy being the Boy he preferred to remain quiet on the matter. However, he does have a louder girlfriend with a blog.

Now!!! The food. The salad arrived with the dressing in a mini champagne glass, which I thought was pretty, and crossed my fingers hoping that this artistic presentation was not used to cover up any shortcomings in the taste section. Thankfully, it didn't.
The greens were fresh and crisp and without the harsh Cyprus rocket everyone seems to be using. The dressing was a deviation from the usual and complimented the greens perfectly. Figs are always nice.

Next up, the halloumi panna cotta. This was my absolute favourite. It was fluffy, and airy and sweet but not too much, and not heavy at all. It was heaven on a teaspoon. Although apparently it's not for everyone (some of the girls didn't find it as exciting), I was just happy that there was more for me! If you're going, don't miss it. Sadly the picture doesn't do it any justice.

Then we had the platter. I liked the selection of charcuterie - it wasn't just the ordinary supermarket stuff - but I couldn't find more than two slices of each. Similarly, the cheese the selection was fairly wide for a small platter. Nevertheless, as the platter alone costs 14Euros, I'm not sure how many people would order it.

The tenderloin. It was suitably cooked (we asked for medium and hooray it wasn't overcooked!) but the sauce did nothing for me, which is a shame since this kind of dish could light up some serious fireworks in the tastebuds.

...and of course the compulsory recreational photos.

All in all I think it was quite nice. No establishment is flawless, but I would revisit Patio for the amazing ambiance and the imaginative menu. Yet, I would probably wait until the buzz of it being the new kid on the block settles down and it's not as crowded. Sharing a teeny tiny table and being squashed while trying to eat is not fun for anyone, even if the halloumi panna cotta makes your tastebuds dance.

Find them at Megalou Alexandrou 55, Nicosia (just off Ledras Street near Caramelotopos), or call them on 22664488. Their Facebook  page is also constantly updated.

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