Menandrou street, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA), 22516516
Daily lunch and dinner
I love Italian food. I love the Italian cuisine and their view of the culinary world. It’s not complicated to make but for some strange reason only Italians can make good Italian food. So when a restaurant opens with Italian owners, Italian chefs and Italian ingredients the success is almost guaranteed.
Located on one of the nicest streets in Nicosia, Menandrou street, Interno 3 is a casual place, yet appropriate for any occasion. It has a small veranda in the front with 4-5 tables and a few low and high tables inside with a long bar. I would characterise the ambiance as classic 2020, meaning you can find classic materials (dark wooden tables and bar) with contemporary touches (white marble table and a beautiful ceiling high wine shelf). It’s quite small so there is a buzz no matter what.
The menu has everything a good Italian restaurant should have. A good list of starters to share (seafood, meat and vegetarian). The ones that stand out are definitely the “Melanzane di parmigiana“, a classic aubergine bake done the Italian way, the “Burrata e prosciutto Mangalica” and of course a cheese platter with the finest cheeses around, almost all imported from Italy directly.
There is a long list of pasta, which I swore to try. The “Norma” rigatoni with tomatoes, aubergines and cheese is a “sure thing” with a light tomato sauce while the “Capelletti al ragu Toscano” was truly one of the best pasta dishes I have had in Cyprus and my favourite dish during our meal.
The risotto with zafferanno with pork cheeks” was deliciously rich and filling, a must-try at least once. Finally the “Ravioli ripieno di ricotta” with tomato sauce although simple in words, very well cooked.
If you want soft pasta drowned in sauce then look away. We are talking about “al dente”, homemade, pasta with true Italian aromas and flavours.
In my next visit I am definitely having the “Buzzonaglia di tonno“, linguine with tuna sauce that looks yummy and the “Aglio olio e peperoncino spaghetti“.
One thing to note is this is the first time I have ever seen a “Fiorentina” steak in Cyprus, one of the most famous Tuscan (and Italian) steaks. Due to its size it must be shared as its minimum 900g. Thick and tender! We also tried the “Cotoletta alla Milanese“, another Italian classic served beautifully on a large slate with cherry tomatoes. The tagliata was cooked perfectly medium served with hand-cut square fries and topped with high quality olive oil was tender and flavoursome.
Last but not least the Tiramisu, with a light coffee and Mascarpone flavour was the perfect ending to a wonderful meal.
A good Italian meal is nothing without great wine to pair it with. We let our drinks to the hands of the Italians with an excellent choice of white and red wines, including of course, dessert wine and digestivo to go with our coffee. Yes, it’s a sin to have wine with dessert, and a sin not to have an espresso accompanied by a good “digestivo”.
We ordered double of what we should have, we left 1/3 of our food as we were full, we had A LOT of wine and paid 40 euros each (pasta range was 9-15 euros). For me, considering the quality of the food is a true bargain. Congratulations to Luca and his team for one of the best culinary experiences in the city.