Whilst staying at the “Hotel Carmen”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/200494 in Shkodra, northern Albania, both our driver and the Bradt Guide recommended the Vila Bekteshi Restaurant. Having had a packet of tortillas for dinner on our first night following a splendid lunch at “Mrizi i Zanave”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/restaurant/200492, we’d made a reservation bearing in mind the city appeared to be busy and it was a Saturday night.
As we’d had a sleepless night from a late-night rave near the hotel, we went out later than usual in an attempt to avoid returning to the hotel too early. At 9pm, the downstairs dining area was empty, and our booking felt a little unnecessary. However, on mentioning our reservation, we were sent upstairs where we found a number of busy rooms. We were led to a lovely balcony where we had a good table which was quite private as it was next to a pillar – this turned out to be a huge restaurant and later we spotted another upstairs terrace and also a garden area below.
Service was good but worryingly all the waiters were very thin! Although the wine list had wines from around the world, we opted for a litre of house white at 800 Lek/£5.90 which came with a complimentary dip and bread. Whilst there were some national dishes, the pizzas were according to Bradt ‘good even by Albanian standards’, so I plumped for a pica mixa (with ham, salami, olives and mozzarella) and Roy chose spaghetti bolognaise. Both were big and excellent. Throughout the night, tables were constantly being reset as people were still arriving when we left at 11.00pm having settled our very reasonable bill.
During dinner we couldn’t help but notice flashing lights and loud music in the distance. The waiter confirmed it would finish at midnight. We walked back a different way and found the source of the noise, Bar Casablanca, right at the back of our hotel.
However, full tummies and the litre of wine worked well as we fell asleep despite the music.