I was invited by ‘Solomos’, to try their cuisine at Da Vinci Napiana Italian Restaurant in Ayia Napa, the influence; a blend of Sicily and Milan, so how could I resist, tbh, it had been on my tick list since they opened last year … and I have to say, I was more than ‘just’ suitably impressed …
On the night, I invited a friend ‘Mimoza’ to join me, Italian being her favourite cuisine. We arrived early, and I just have to say the interior designer made a stunning job, recreating a Gothic feel. It’s comfortable, not too posh, something different, encouraging casual dinning … the bar, tables and chairs, all bespoke influence, black white and grey, with acute arches adorning the facade of the restaurant; the crew all wear braces, a lovely touch … I just love all the plants and how they kept the 50 year old tree almost totally covering the garden terrace, for a little alfresco dinning. Oh, and within minutes we were given the wine and cocktail menu, btw, this impeccable service didn’t stop there …
Whenever we are invited for dinner, Mimoza and I always ask our hosts to choose our meal for us, to which Andreas said “OK, I’ll choose your starters and you choose your main course, and naturally I’m happy to recommend” … for our aperitif, we chose a classic Mojito, which was made to perfection, and then, unusually, we decided to share our meal so we could taste all the dishes …
The menu was the think tank of both the chefs, with over 20 years experience in Italian cuisine, and the head waiters, George and Panikos, who have been part of the team for years. It’s a little different, not necessarily unique, but they do it better because they get almost all their ingredients fresh from the family’s farms … apparently, even their Carbonara is different, Napa Style? hmm … and I have to say, the whole menu sounds absolutely excellent! oh, and the homemade warm rolls that accompanied a selection of dips were unusual, and delicious …
Our starters arrived, firstly Ravioli Porcini, a house speciality, homemade Ravioli stuffed with Porcini mushrooms in a creamy sauce, omg, if the our main course was going to be anywhere as near as good as this, we were in for something very special … to compliment our Ravioli was the Risotto Gamberoni, saffron rice, with king prawns served with cream and saffron sauce, OMG!, that sauce is just to die for!!!
I did have a look at the other choices for starters … an excellent selection of antipasti both cold or hot … on my next visit either the Antipasti Misto, a selection of cold meats and cheeses to share, or the Ravioli al Salmone, or maybe just a Prosciutto e melone, Prosciuttos slices with fresh local melon … oh, believe it or not, Mimoza went back twice in the following week, which sort of speaks for itself!
Wood Fired Pizza
It was hard to resist a Pizza, freshly handmade dough with a secret recipe, and baked thin crust in a real wood fired oven which is naturally unbeatable for that real pizza flavour … choose from 15 varieties or make your own … the Piccante Diavola, topped with hot salami and chillies sounded tempting, with extra cheese of course …
It was even harder to choose our main course. After some debate we chose a pasta, the Linguine Nere frutti di mare, selected seafood pearls, with a rich Sicilian tomato sauce and, with Andreas help, we complemented this with one of their specialities; Da Vinci’s Dish, Sea Bass fillet, with prawns and a saffron creamy sauce, the sea bass absolutely perfect and again that sauce was just out of this world! Trust me you’re going to love it.
Surf & Turf
I have to say the seafood and meat dishes looked very tempting. I’ve heard so many compliments about their steaks … the Surf & Turf with grilled prawns must be my next meal here, much as we almost went for the Salmone alla Grappa, salmon fillet in creamy Grappa Sauce … I love fillet of pork cooked Italian Style and they have a few recipes, so too the chicken dishes, including the Polo Mozzarella. You won’t find in many restaurants, a herb crusted chicken fillet, topped with mozzarella, tomato, basil and pesto … hmm, it looks like I’m gonna have to come back a few times lol
There’s many excellent choices … but one that caught my eye was the Rigatoni al Quattro Farmaggi a blend of Parmesan, Pecorino, Gorgonzola, Regato, with broccoli and fresh cream, a must try.
It’s a family restaurant, so the kids get their own menu that they can colour in and solve the quizzes, with selection of children’s favourites from mini pizza to pastas and, of course, chicken nuggets …
Now you must save some space for their deserts, all handmade by Panikos, in their own special deserts room! 8 different specialities, and all sounding delicious. We were so full we shared the recommended Espresso Panna Cotta, omg!!! I wished we hadn’t shared and you’re going to love it!!! … Maybe next time the Tiramisu or Lava Cake, freshly baked in the oven for 15 mins, no microwaves here lol Oh, and the Baileys Cheesecake or the Apple Pie, yes with Ice Cream, yes with cream, yes with cinnamon and caramel … hmm yet another excuse to go back at least twice lol
With a separate Cava for their wines, set at a constant 18°C … Everything from a glass of Prosecco to maybe a bottle 😉 .. to a Lambrusco, a ladies’ favourite, or maybe the Mateus Rose … An excellent variety of wines from Cyprus and Italy, selected by none other than owner ‘Solomos’, served by the glass, bottle or carafe … Oh, and the coffee, fresh ground by Buondi of Italy, the cappuccino was gorgeous!
Behind the Bar
Specialising in Prosecco Cocktails … the Pink Spritz a blend of Gordon’s Pink Gin, Prosecco and lemonade sounded refreshing, or maybe a little Sex on the Beach? Their signature cocktail ‘Pasionapa’, which is Vodka, passion syrup, orange juice and cranberry juice.
If there is a group of 16 or more of you, and you’d like a set menu, or maybe a little Italian Meze, there’s some really cool discounts … Oh, and check out their reviews on Trip Advisor where I believe they are 13th in all restaurants in Napa, not bad in just one year!
I’ll just say, this is the third family restaurant owned by my very good friend Solomos. The other two: Farmers Traditional Tavern and Quatro Italiaan Mediterranean cuisine … I was so impressed with the design, service, and the variety, that I will definitely be going back again; I highly recommend you give this place a visit, especially if you love Italian food!
Open long summer season
April to November
Daily: 4 pm ’til 11 pm
You’ll find Da Vinci Napiana Italian at 29, Arch Bishop Makarios Avenue, Ayia Napa, it’s about 30 metres down from Farmers Tavern, on the traffic lights at the town end of Nissi Avenue almost opposite Sun Fish Divers … see map below …
GPS: 34.986303, 34.002670
Mama Mia, You’re going to love it!