Ristorante Villa Cipriani - Madeira, Portugal: Located on a cliff-top in a restored villa next to Reid’s Palace Hotel, Ristorante Villa Cipriani is a stunning and memorable place that serves traditional Italian cuisine in a casual yet elegant setting overlooking the sea. To secure a perfect view and assure an unforgettable dining experience, reservations is a must. Seating is available for both indoors and out, but of course, the best seats are outside, which get filled quickly during lunch and dinner.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted at the door and efficiently shown to our table at the edge of the patio next to the railing. We were immediately smitten by the spectacular view of the sea and already knew we were going to have a good time at this one-of-a-kind place. The menu was varied, and as you could expect from a restaurant of this caliber, there was something to suit every kind of taste or preference. The wine list was also quite extensive, including local and international selections.
Some interesting dishes worth mentioning here include the Camaroli Risotto with Mixed Mushrooms, Homemade Black Ravioli Stuffed with Pumpkin and Ricotta, Grilled Sea Bass Fillet with Zucchini and Saffron Potatoes, and Caramelized Rack of Lamb with Balsamic and Thyme, Sweet Potato Flan and Black Olives.
I started my dinner with the Homemade Black Ravioli with Pumpkin—Ah, what a delight, absolutely gorgeous. But at 12 Euro a dish, and a comparably small portion for the price, I expected no less than perfect.
For my main dish, I had the Caramelized Rack of Lamb. It was tender, juicy, full of flavor, and compared to what I’ve had in the past, as tasty as any I’ve had before in any topnotch upscale restaurant. At 29 Euro, it was a bit pricy but the taste kept me from worrying about that, plus it was a relatively good sized portion. My dessert was the all-famous Italian tiramisu in a chocolate shell with coffee sauce. While it wasn’t the best tiramisu I’ve ever had, it surely approached the top of my list.
Service throughout dinner was attentive and at no point did I ever feel rushed. To say the least, it was a perfect dinner and a perfect evening, which just made harmonious sense seeing that we were staying at the equally perfect Reid’s Palace. The evening was so unforgettable that we went back two days later to do it all over again. Bombastic!
What I liked: The food, the view
What I didn’t like: A few prices were on the high side