The Hospitality Comeback

As restrictions are being lifted after months of being closed we asked a few questions to some of the current leading restaurants about how they dealt with the whole situation and what's in store for the future.


59 REPUBLIC

Valletta



Since you have opened doors for the past 2 weeks now, how do you describe your experience during the past weeks?

Thankfully busy, we had relocated to our new premises situated on St Georges Square and rushed to launch on 1st March, only to be closed 4 days later due to the pandemic, so it has been exciting to re-launch again and we are thrilled to be able to welcome guests back and host again.

How are you looking forward and planning towards the coming weeks now that you will be allowed to also serve dinner?

We are recruiting more staff and trying to find suitable people as due to the new location we will be opening both lunch and dinner and that requires quite an extensive team. On a positive note during the shutdown it allowed us to do further fine tuning of our menu.


Any big plans for the future ? We are looking forward to summer 2021 in the new location and returning to some form of normalcy. Continuing the 59 experience for our guests and offering a great dining experience.

“Chef Patron Maria Sammut”



BARBAJEAN

Dingli



Since you have opened doors for the past 2 weeks now, how do you describe your experience during the past weeks? How are you looking forward and planning towards the coming weeks now that you will be allowed to also serve dinner?

The past two weeks have been very exciting for Barbajean, we have launched a new summer menu and so far had excellent feedback. Opening for lunch with restricted time was very challenging, but it is great to be back in action! we missed that wonderful sound as the dining room filled with lively chatter and sparkling efficiency on both sides of the pass.




Any big plans for the future ?

We are looking forward to open for Dinner too and will also Have a Tapas menu launching for Friday and Saturday Lunch.

‘’Jean Pierre Dingli - Chef Patron’’



ION

St Barbara's Bastions, Valletta



Since you have opened doors for the past 2 weeks now, how do you describe your experience during the past weeks?

We are thrilled to be able to serve guests once again, especially after receiving our first Michelin star just last month. From guests’ enthusiasm, it is clear that everyone has been itching to start dining out again. And thanks to the warm and sunny spring weather in the air, we have had an especially high demand for tables on our terrace, which enjoy panoramic views of the Grand Harbour and the historic “Three Cities” beyond.


How are you looking forward and planning towards the coming weeks now that you will be allowed to also serve dinner?

We are excited to be opening for dinner TODAY, Wednesday 26th May, with a new menu that highlights all the fresh produce of the season! We will continue to follow all social distancing regulations and strict sanitation protocols to ensure our guests can enjoy an outstanding yet safe dining experience.


Any big plans for the future?

On June 17th, we will be welcoming acclaimed London chef Alex Dilling, previous Executive Chef of two Michelin starred restaurant The Greenhouse, who will be joining us at ION – The Harbour for a 100-day residency. During his residency at ION – The Harbour, Alex will make the most of local, seasonal and artisanal ingredients that are bursting with Mediterranean flavour at this time of year. He will be presenting a couple of his famous signature dishes, such as Hunter Chicken and Andignac Foie Gras with Black Truffle, giving some dishes a local touch by using produce he has already discovered in Malta whilst visiting producers, artisans and local fisherman. Bookings open on the 4th June and more information can be found on our website.

''Vanessa Azzopardi - ION''



UNDER GRAIN

Valletta


Since you have opened doors for the past 2 weeks now, how do you describe your experience during the past weeks?

There’s no denying that it has been a tough year for the restaurant industry. Despite all the challenges, all of us at Under Grain simply couldn’t wait to welcome patrons to our restaurant. It was a joy to be back; to feel the excitement of the re-opening and the rush of adrenaline in bringing the restaurant and kitchen back to life. We are also thrilled with the positive feedback received by our loyal Under Grain regulars who got to experience Under Grain during lunchtime with a completely new menu. The past 14 months have seen the team host intimate food-and-wine pairing events and create gourmet dine-at-home experiences, including specially themed menus for occasions.


How are you looking forward and planning towards the coming weeks now that you will be allowed to also serve dinner?

The Under Grain team has been in full flight planning and preparing exciting new menus and gourmet concepts to launch in the next days, weeks and months. As from this Wednesday, we will be refocusing our energies on our exclusive fine-dining experiences that Under Grain is renowned for. Customers are invited to place reservations between Wednesdays to Saturdays, and from the looks of it, they are also encouraged to do so early in order to avoid disappointment. Safety remains a top priority for our staff and customers and we have reinstated precautionary measures from the first day of reopening.



Any big plans for the future ?

We’re peppering our culinary calendar with a series of exclusive gourmet events, which will see the Under Grain team collaborate with iconic viticulturists and wine importers to create singular dining experiences par excellence. We’re also looking forward to launch exclusive over-night stay experiences at the five-star Rosselli AX Privilege, home to Under Grain. With Executive Chef Victor Borg’s culinary skills, an intimate ambiance, elegant décor, and ultimate gastronomic experiences, Under Grain is set to exceed expectations true to its MICHELIN status.


Keep your palettes prepped for new flavors at our sister restaurant, Grain Street on Merchant Street, Valletta and prepare yourselves for spectacular evenings at Over Grain, Rosselli’s Rooftop Terrace and lounge. Rosselli’s trio of fine venues has plenty of new experiences planned to delight their clientele.

'Thomas Mifsud Bonnici - Restaurant manager'


CASA VOSTRA

Gozo



Since you have re-opened two weeks ago, how do you describe your experience for these first weeks back to serving your patrons?

I can tell that it has not been an easy time in the past few months for us as well as many other businesses because of the pandemic that we still find ourselves in. Looking forward the upcoming summer, here at Casa Vostra we only have good vibes, we "survived" this period, so we just think that from now on things are going to go better and better. Cannot wait until the pandemic ends completely to get back to normality as we were one an half year ago...



How are you looking forward and planning towards the coming weeks now that you will be allowed to also serve dinner? Any big plans for the future ?

I can definitely say that we have great plans to help the business to grow but most of them will require the possibility to be many people all together, such as live music show or private events organized from us. Ideas are not missing, we just need to have patience as we did until now continuing doing all what is possible to keep up the restaurant. To finish, I would like to send a huge thanks to the Maltese Government which I think has been doing a fantastic job to keep the economy up!

‘‘Michele Della Cioppa, General Manager’’


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We wish the best of luck to all local & foreign Restaurants. lets also make sure to take care of one another by respecting the restrictions directed by our governments in the fight against Covid-19. Stay Safe, enjoy & indulge your taste buds.