Sunday, June 28, 2009

UPDATED: Sitges - disappointing second meal at Claudius

(UPDATED: June 16th 2009) One of our best meals last year was a simple, still elegant late night dinner at Claudius, a small modest pizzeria / ristorante by the Mediterranean. This meal was inspired by an important principle in good Italian cooking - less is more. From a few, but excellent ingredients the cook created wonderful food!! At Claudius all was perfect - nearly, as only Allah is perfect! Sadly, as we revisited this year, we found that much of the glory had disappeared. Our meal was, quite frankly a disappointment.

Location: BBBBB

There are few places better to eat by the Sitges beachfront. Claudius face the Mediterranean, located close to the church Santa Bartolmeu i Santa Tecla.

A better location for a good meal is very hard to find.....

Atmosphere: BBBBB-

A traditional colourful interior, well cleaned and maintained. But who would sit inside on such an evening? We decided to eat outside.

Price: BBBBB

I have sadly lost the bill, but the price for two dishes and a bottle of rosé wine to share was hardly chocking.

Service: BBBB+

Good service from a nice waitress that did her best to make us feel comfortable. The food was served quickly, but what food!!!!

Updated June 16th: Nice and discreet service, we did not have to wait long to be served.

Food: BBBB (2008: BBBBB)

2008: Gnocchi with a creamy ruccola pesto and gorgonzola sauce: BBBBB

I know it does not look good, but this grey food was delicious. Perfectly prepared gnocchi, dumplings made from flour, potatoes and eggs served in the most exquisite sauce. This dish has been an inspiration for my own culinary activities, as I have prepared this sauce at my summer home, and ruccola pesto - oh-la-la!!!

2008: Profiteroles with strawberry sauce and cream: BBBB+

Profiteroles are among my favourite desserts, and at Claudius they really knew how to make a great presentation of them. You really looked forward to the first bite.

The syrup was out of this world, whereas the strawberry and regular cream tasted less of the delicious berries. The cream puffs were perfect.

2009: Pizza Parmesana: BBBB-

I ordered from the large selection of pizzas. The Pizza Parmesana was described as pizza with mozzarella, cured ham and parmesan cheese.

Presentation: The Pizza Parmesana looked decent, but was served on a plate to small for the pie, and as it was not flat, it made the pie difficult to eat.

Texture: Topping slightly dry, and whereas the gnocchi ordered by my friends were served with fresh parmesan shavings, my pizza had the dry, low-quality, powdered parmesan variety. The pastry was very dry and cracked into small crumbs. Cured ham was tough.

Balance: Slightly bitter tomato sauce, lacking a little sweetness. Extra pepper needed.

Taste: Very average in taste

Price: At 9 EUROS you were not robbed, but even though the low price, pizzas at Claudius is not recommended.

Beverage: Leonardo Chianti Classico: BBBB-

We ordered a Chianto Classico, priced at EUR 17,90 for a bottle, a fruity wine, with very little character.

Rating the Claudius experience: BBBB+ (4,33 points)

A climb down from the review in 2008. Even the gnocchi ordered by my traveling companions were of completely different character. Pizza was dry and not very good. Location, atmosphere, service and price saves it from even a lower dip in rating.


resort said...

Wish I would get a chance to taste it.

beach resort

John said...

I'm a real gnocchi fan so I ordered it again this year (June 2009). I couldn't agree more that it was a disappointment. The cheese used in the sauce, instead of being gorgonzola, seemed more to be a crumbly non-creamy blue cheese giving a very different - less balanced, less creamy (and less enjoyable) taste.

The idea of using a ruccola pesto with gorgonzola as a pasta sauce is a good one IMO.