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A new gem has been added to the already beautiful and quickly-expanding chain of services in Petrela, the lovely village right outside the capital of Tirana. Once you visit, you will agree that this place will lend a fresh new flavor to your Saturday, spent pampering yourself with delicious food and fresh air in the gorgeous village.
The place in question is called “Fustanella,” a word that in Albanian brings to mind the Albanian version of a kilt in the nation’s traditional folk costumes. Now, Fustanella is also an agritourism (farm + guesthouse) business. The rising popularity of the latter type of service clearly demonstrates the love of Albanians for fresh and local flavors. Although open only a few months, the restaurant’s success has reverberated beyond the surrounding hills and fields, all the way to the capital. The two dining spaces are perpetually full of people; as soon as one group leaves a table, another rushes in. As such, reservations should be made in advance.
The restaurant is only open for lunch. With the exceptions of two or three meze (Albanian tapas) like the fresh, moist cheese or the fava beans, the rest of the menu is constantly changing according to the season, the month and, often, even the day, a fact that testifies to the restaurant’s aim at providing only the freshest and best products.
It is for these reasons that here you will see a most simple and original menu. As soon as you take your seat, you will be presented with the rustic handwritten note that contains the day’s offerings. As the staff confesses, all dishes are inspired by the regions “where fustanella has been and continues to be worn.”
We tried several and can honestly say that any time taken to think about your choice is time wasted. One could point and choose any one of the dishes and, inevitably, the choice would be the right one. Anything you taste here will be a delicious version of tradition with a modern twist. Cases in point: the pasta with mushrooms from Puka or the stuffed squash.
The service is another indisputable value of this place. Effervescent young men and women that cater to their customers make the entire experience all the more pleasant.
If you have the pleasure to sit in the larger seating area of the restaurant, located in the entrance, you will undoubtedly relish in the majestic view in front of you: rows upon rows of the farm’s fruits and vegetables, beautifully framed by the surrounding hills.
Should you decide to visit Fustanella, you can visit their always updated Facebook page, call +355 69 448 4000 or simply follow the directions to the following address: Zaranik, Petrela (283,05 km) along the old road to Baldushk, 1034 Tirana.
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