We stayed in Berat, Albania for two nights at the “Rezidenca Desaret”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/201573. In compensate for the ongoing building work, a complimentary dinner was offered. As we’d read good reviews on Trip Advisor and had already decided to eat in on one night as hotels with restaurants were a novelty on our tour, this was a bonus. Our table was booked for 7.30pm.
Although the ground floor restaurant is open to the public, we’d seen nearby hotels with roof top restaurants and panoramic views of Berat Castle and town. This, coupled with the building work, meant we expected the place to be quiet, but on arrival, a group of six were already seated.
The large dining room had tables set around the outside on a raised area. Our table, set for four, was wide, so to avoid shouting and one of us facing a blank wall, we sat side by side on plush purple velvet chairs. The young lady who’d organised our dinner, suggested the menu: soup, spinach pie, stuffed peppers and a pork dish with a special soy sauce local to the area. It seemed quite a lot, but decided to go with the flow, despite bringing back memories of a similar in-house meal at the Butjina Sidheri in Korça. Included was a complimentary beer or glass of wine: the latter was a nice large glass and we also ordered sparkling water.
A breadbasket and vegetable soup were served immediately we were seated. It was delicious and beautifully decorated with croutons and herbs. Our next two dishes arrived immediately after the soup plates were cleared: a huge slab of borek and a green pepper stuffed with rice. Fearing the size of the pork, we decided not to clear our plates, even though the food was tasty. The pork arrived before the starter plates were cleared and we found a thick, slice of delicious belly pork with mashed potato and the soy jus. It was very good, but the potato defeated us.
Having been served and eaten three courses (four items) in 35 minutes, we sat with our empty plates for around 20 minutes listening to what Roy described as soothing spa music (although I’m not sure how he knows as he’s never been to one).
Eventually we finished our wine and with no offer of pudding or coffee, checked we had nothing to sign and left.
During our meal, another two tables arrived: one a group of four youngsters and what appeared to be Mum. Having ordered from an a la carte menu, they disappeared out to the garden in pairs to either phone or smoke, taking it in turns to ‘babysit’ Mum. Even when the food arrived, no one went outside to tell the smokers.
We also noticed that the group who were seated on our arrival, had the same dishes as us albeit at a rather more leisurely pace. They were also served dessert: they were obviously paying for their meal.