A Déjeuner Amical at Ta Frenc Restaurant Gozo on Sunday the 31st July 2022
The Malta Bailliage hosted its third event of the year at the Ta Frenc Restaurant in Gozo on Sunday the 31st July 2022. The restaurant has been a regular fixture on our calendar for many years.
Ta Frenc is one of the most popular restaurants on the Islands of Gozo and Malta, having first opened its doors over 30 years ago and building a reputation for excellent food as well as having an extensive wine cellar, all in a beautiful old farmhouse with vistas of the Gozitan countryside.
This time we were entertained in the wine cellar which turned out to be an extremely memorable experience with a completely different ambience to the patio, where we are normally served lunch. It was also advantageous to dine in the cellar as the weather is currently very warm.
The restaurant has recently been listed in the first Michelin on-line guide to restaurants in the Maltese islands.
The lunch was again hosted by the restaurant general manager Maître Restaurateur Joseph Tabone.
In his opening speech Chancelier Charles Gatt welcomed all present. He noted that we were a smaller group than normal, but this gave us the opportunity to have lunch in the impressive cellar, where we could also admire the wine collection (and drink some of it 😊). Although usually held in October the Ta Frenc lunch was moved to July because the bailliage Grand Chapitre and Anniversary celebrations will be held at that time.
The Chancelier mentioned that Ta Frenc Restaurant is presently the main Chaine Recognised Establishment in Malta.
Finally, Chancelier Gatt gave special welcome to Joe and Lilian Debono who are no strangers to the Chaine.
Following the Chancelier’s speech, Dr Iro Cali-Corleo, our Echanson, highlighted the characteristics of the wines which were to be served with the lunch. The wines were all supplied by the establishment.
The full menu was as follows:
Selection of Canapes
Champagne Brut Boizel
Dressed tomato tartare, local salted cheeslet, blueberries, romesco, olives and herbs from the garden.
Champagne Blanc de Noirs - Boizel
A delightful melange of in-season Gozo tomatoes and fresh Gozo sheep cheese enhanced with blueberry, olive and herbs. The tomato fricassee asked for some mopping up with the accompanying fresh bread selection.
Traditional style of vinification resulting in a rich and complex wine with good perlage and yeasty and stone fruit notes on the nose and palate. Grape 100% pinot Noir.
Gently cooked scallops, cauliflower and roast garlic puree, chives lightly roasted chicken broth with a hint of ginger and orange.
Pinotage Rose 2018 - Meerendal
These scallops were delicately poached and set on a purée of roasted cauliflower and garlic, then garnished with chopped chives. a light smoked chicken stock with hints of orange and ginger was then served at table. Sublime!
Unpretentious wine intended for early drinking from Durbanville in S. Africa. Dry and crisp and so goes well with meaty and oily seafood. Grape 100% Pinotage.
Parmesan and camomile risotto, casutin cream, thyme infused honey, porcini powder.
Cotes du Rhone 2021 - Heritages
There was a nice ‘bite’ to this risotto cooked in a chamomile- based stock and taken to another level with creamed Casutin cheese, just the right dose of thyme honey and finished with a light dusting of powdered porcini mushroom.
Produced by the established negociant Ogier who makes all forms of Rhone wines. Since 2000 owns vineyards including the reputable Clos de Oratoire. A balanced wine with notes of ripe white tropical fruits. Grape - Southern Rhone White Blend.
Raspberry sorbet, rosewater jelly, lime flavoured meringue.
A light, refreshing raspberry and rosewater sorbet garnished with a wispy lime meringue.
Roasted veal fillet, braised cabbage, carrots, and bacon, pan-seared foie gras glazed with spices and Madeira gel topped with crispy truffled breadcrumbs, smoked creamy mash potato, beef jus with a hint of vinegar.
Le Serre Nouve Dell Ornellaia 2011 - Bolgheri
A magnificent duo of roasted veal fillet and Madeira-glazed foie gras. These were accompanied by finely diced sautéed vegetables, a lightly smoked mash and topped with truffled breadcrumbs.
2nd wine of Ornellaia owned by Frescobaldi and with Michael Rolland as consulting winemaker. Intended to be drunk young(er) with softer tannins and notes of ripe dark fruit. A winner of numerous awards. Grape – Bordeaux Blend
Chocolate mousse, praline, salted tuille, honeycomb, cookie butter crumble ice-cream.
V.D.N Gruner Vetliner - Domaine Wachau
A final flourish with a chocolate mousse accompanied by a praline and lightly salted tuile.
Produced as a Vin Doux Naturel (no added sugar). Rich sweetness and lush yet balanced. Grape - Gruner Vetliner.
As can be seen in the photo gallery, all the courses were served on artistic plates that framed each picture-perfect dish.
The comments on the food and wine were prepared by Bailli Délégué Dr Joseph Xuereb and Echanson Dr Ramiro Cali-Corleo.
Following lunch, the Bailli Délégué, Dr Joseph Xuereb, gave a speech in which he mentioned that Ta Frenc has hosted many celebrities during its 40-year history including Sean Connery and Angelina Jolie amongst others, as well as being a consistent venue for our Bailliage for more than 20 years.
He also mentioned that Maitre d’ Joseph Tabone had recently visited Meerendal Estate in South Africa and obtained Official Certification from the Meerendal Wine Institute.
The Bailli also gave an overview of what really had been a gastronomic 'tour de force' and thanked the restaurant management, the chef, his brigade, and the serving staff for a very impressive lunch which will certainly be remembered by all the members for a long time to come.
And finally, he concluded:
Charge de Presse
Vive La Chaine!