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“Awful black sticky sauce drizzled over ALL the food we had, why?” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cellini Wine & Dine

Cellini Wine & Dine
Ranked #1 of 26 Restaurants in Naxxar
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $4 - $27
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Italian, European, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Dining on a budget, Bar scene, Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Drinks, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Cash Only, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Description: Cellini is a quaint wine bar & bistro situated in the heart of the village of Naxxar, Malta. It is named after Piju Cellini, a reputable designer and painter born in 1863, the designer and maker of the town's parish church door, the first bronze door in Malta at that time.But why name it after Pio Cellini? This house was built by Vincenzo Bonavia towards the middle of the 19th century and the coat of arms on the entrance door shows the griffon, a symbol of Christ representing the right road (‘Bona’ + ‘Via’). Dun Salvatore Bonavia, only son of six children of Vincenzo, lived here till he died in 1946. Dun Salv had served on the committee set up in the early years of the 20th century to make plans and oversee the works on the widened church façade which now cried out for a much larger door. Seeing the friendship that developed between him and Cellini, one would be forgiven for thinking that Dun Salv had had a big say in the choice of the artist. Cellini was in fact a regular visitor to this house where he spent many hours with his priest friend. He did not sit in the same chair you are sitting on now, but he probably often sat in the same spot. You may wish to imagine what topics turned up in those long, relaxed and pleasant conversations; ones we wish you too are having now.Cellini Wine Bar & Bistro serves typical nibbles, platters, small eats, mouthwatering dishes prepared by our resident Chef including our popular grilled fresh rib eye, duck and other dishes. Well chosen wines from all over the world.Open all days from 11am till 3pm, 7pm till late. Monday closed for lunch.Private functions also accepted!Directions - facing the church, Cellini Wine Bar & Bistro is on the right hand side, between Naxxar Football Club and Gasan & Mamo Insurance Agency.
Co Kildare
Level Contributor
119 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Awful black sticky sauce drizzled over ALL the food we had, why?”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013

I am awarding 2 stars, 1 for the waitress, after all she cannot be held accountable for the chefs offerings and 1 for the building which is so lovely. This seems to make the awful food we had an even bigger misdemeanour given the surroundings it is cooked and served in. This was my third visit here & previous meals, while being too big were good. The food we were served in an amazingly quick time frame last night (22nd Sep) can only be described as horrendous . To be fair my prawn tempura starter would have been nice but for the addition of the God awful sticky black sauce drizzled all over them this ruined them for me. My husbands focaccia stater was again ruined by the inexplicable black sticky drizzle. However the arrival of our main courses a mere 5 minutes after the starter plates had been removed made our starters look like fine dining. I opted for chicken cacciatore, my husband had saltimbocca. Our main courses looked exactly alike. The black sticky stuff had been drizzled with gay abandon which made both main courses taste exactly alike too. This is an amazing feat given that one is chicken and one is veal. We both had a strange but identical medley of large chunks of vegetables with something I have never seen or eaten before and hopefully will never have the misfortune of seeing on my plate ever again, a rock hard, mound of cold rice. These were all served on top of liberally drizzled rocket leaves and chips. I feel sure most people would agree that chips should be served with salt, vinegar, maybe ketchup or even mayonnaise but never ever with the inexplicable black sticky stuff. My chicken was passable but most of it went to a nice ginger cat who adopted me for as long as my chicken lasted. My husbands veal by his own admission was dreadful. He at first thought it was bread such was its colour and blandness. I don't eat veal because I don't like to think of their suffering and this one unfortunately definitely died in vain. I have worked as a waitress in my younger days in a couple of nice restaurants and am lucky enough to have eaten in some lovely places down through the years and have had good and bad experiences. I sometimes marvel at how restaurants literally shoot themselves in the foot with bad service and food, the experience last night made me marvel like I had never marvelled before. It also made me sad and angry, how can they not see what they are doing? The chef in my view needs replacing, that might sound harsh but anyone who can make two completely different main courses look and taste exactly the same needs to rethink their career. The restaurant was very quiet last night we were in and out in 40mins. We sat just inside the door so therefore it makes perfect sense to keep us in there as long as possible so potential diners can look in and see customers. So why rush the food out? This also of course tells us that the awful food is not even being freshly prepared? I would not go back as you can probably gather from my review but if the manager or owner wish to contact me I am happy talk to them, if only to say they have an amazing building and potential if they get in a decent chef and stop rushing people out.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank sgs67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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375 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good Food, Great Wine”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2013

Recommended to us by our hosts, great selection of pasta's, all good quality. Maltese wine was excellent here, and staff were very welcoming.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Harp1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Island or Gozo malta
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“can be much better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

I have been into this restaurant twice, first time was disappointed so I said never again, then some friends of mine went there too and again they were disappointed; Now after a year or so I decided to try it out again. andthis time I were even more disappointed. And the reason is that had it been me I would have called the restaurant "the sauce house" and nothing else. Each plate we got was covered in sauce, the meat and pasta were literally swimming in sauce and you could hardly see what you are eating; The place itself is lovely, but it takes two to tango, place and food. Another thing which disappointed me is that in 20 minutes we were served with bread and butter, starters which included pasta and main, meat and duck. After 35/40 minutes were ready to go out, I understand that all the food was precooked. And all this does not make a good restaurant; Well below average

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank mansueta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palaiseau, France
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“First time in Naxxar”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013

We came and visited for the fist time Naxxar.The situation in downtown is ideal to eat and appreciate the town.The atmosphere of the restaurant gives you feeling to be special.special attention for the waiter, unforgettable moment of Phil Collins's music appreciated by my wife.
Food was very good, we are came twice a row in a 6 days staying.Prices are not excessive for small budget (less than 20 euros for a couple).

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Tenarvalo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herne Bay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Perfect evening”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2013

Vsiited this restaurant while on holiday visiting our Maltese family , they had visited befor sand highly recommended it.
We were not disappointed the service was excellent from start to finish, the Managaer was very friendly and particularly welcoming as was the head chef who even came to ask our opinion of the food ! Which we thought was a nice touch.
We had the large t bone to share with Italian mushrooms which was so tasty and very tender the girls had a chicken dish and the veal which were both also vey nice . The price was pretty reasonable for what we had in a lovely restaurant this isn't a cheap cafe and we would expect into be slightly more expensive than the average place.
The ambience was also excellent along with the decor, we could see a lot of time and effort has been spent in getting the old original Maltese features restored which added to a truly lovely evening
Defiantly try this bistro it was excellent in our opinion
Alan & Abby McMahon

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank COLBY12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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