Tradition with a twist

The Diacono name is synonymous with good food; some of the most popular kitchens are run by Diaconos from two generations, but what makes Giuseppi’s Bar & Bistro particular is that the front of house as well as the kitchen are led by uncle and nephew.

Chris manages front of house and does so with a knowledge manner and a calm air around him while Michael, his uncle and a veteran, presides over the kitchen. Here together with his sous chef Ryan Vella, he conjures up dishes and menus which keep delighting customers. The system works well, and things run very smoothly. This is a restaurant which keeps its clientele happy and coming back for more.

While Sedjan, one of the bartenders prepares our cocktails, Chris is here there and everywhere, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and with as few hitches as possible. He does this calmly and his personable character is the perfect foil for clients looking to have a good evening. His team is a tight knit one which has stayed the course for the two years the establishment has been open. Chris comes from the hospitality industry having worked and studied in hotels. He thrives on the highs and lows that each day bring, knowing that no two days are the same.

Bonito Tartar

Digging in

We begin with the Bonito tuna tartar with ponzo sauce and tobiko is an excellent start to our meal. Fresh, flavourful and light it’s a great prelude of what comes next. Pig’s head roulade complete with pig’s ear crackling is next and it tastes fantastic. Smoky and salty from the fresh samphire, it should taste more unctuous but it’s simply delicious. And then it’s time for blackened seabass cooked in a very delicate beurre blanc, served on wilted spinach and garlic chips for extra texture. The thickly cut, triple cooked potato chips just add to the pleasure in this dish. For our final main, tender roast duck breast on a walnut sauce and with poached pears. Cooked to perfection, the sweetness of the pear complements the duck while the walnut adds the right amount of crunch and balances it out. A sweet delicate Jerusalem artichoke ice cream is utterly delicious and paired perfectly with brandy snap, chocolate soil, caramelised pecans.

Pig’s Head

Thinking Local

Michael and Chris believe that supporting local producers is an obvious thing to do, and this is reflected in the menu which changes daily. The kitchen often creates menus around one single ingredient such as the deliciously Gozitan grown local asparagus currently in season. Giuseppi’s is everything that is familiar but set against a fresh new background where recipes, tradition and knowledge are passed down from one generation to the next. Patrons are clearly regulars who keep coming back to mark any and every occasion. The synergy between the kitchen and the floor is harmonious, creating an excellent relaxing atmosphere in which to serve great creative dishes. The service is flawless too, and totally on point when it comes to pairing wine, guiding guests through the menu and ensuring an impeccable service. The attention to detail in the design creates a casual familiar feel while the service elevates it to something more refined.

Pig’s head, gribiche, salsa verde, avruga caviar, samphire

Meanwhile the team at Giuseppi’s continues to create dishes steeped in tradition but given a modern twist. what ultimately works and is very evident here is that personal touch to everything – From the carefully selected 400 strong wine list to the playlists prepared for each evening – a fusion of Michael and Chris’s musical preferences – you could almost say they approach their playlist the way they do their food – personal and a good balance of classic and contemporary.

Jerusalem artichoke ice cream

Off the cuff

Your guilty pleasure – Sometimes only MacDonald’s chicken nuggets will hit the spot and wine is a staple part of my diet
Favourite meal – Too many to mention but a simple plate of rigatoni with amatriciana will always hit the spot for me
Signature dish – I don’t have one as I like to try out my interpretation of a new recipe on anyone I’m feeding. I also dig into my nannas’ recipes of course.
Favourite gadget – don’t really use them and not really sure what to do with most of them. I find a knife works really well
Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten – nothing too out of this world, if you don’t count offal of course – Giuseppi’s and the Diaconos at large are known for their appreciation for those cheaper cuts.

Check out recipes from issue 7