Word of Mouth: Raya (Panarea)

August 9th, 2011 by The House



We’re actually getting kinda sick of new restaurants; it’s a bit tedious pointing out the same types of flaws over and over and over again and ultimately being disappointed more often than impressed. (Here’s a novel idea: why don’t you try working to improve the shitty restaurant you already have, rather than opening a new one every nine months, you greedy egomaniacal bastard?) But hey, maybe that’s just us.
Anyhoo! It’s so nice to see you! We hadn’t planned on visiting your place, probably like— ever— but the "word of mouth" on this joint has been pretty outstanding. So, ya know— we’re intrigued. We’re hoping that good "word of mouth" is all genuine, and we can get us some of that good in our mouth. Word.
What’s that? You’d love to take advantage of all our vast experience, knowledge, insight, and expertise as long as we’re already here? Because you’re hoping we’ll like it and help spread the news, since you fired your publicist long ago for not doing jack shit for you?
Of course, we’d be honored. Oh ha, yesss, we’ll be honest— brutally honest even, ha ha! After all, that’s what obnoxious opinionated food-bloggers are for!
No no please, don’t send anything more, we’re stuffed, we can’t breathe, you’ll have to roll us out of here, ha ha ha… !


Raya (Panarea)

What exactly made you choose our restaurant?
Actually, my hosts chose it; I think it came highly recommended to them by a friend of theirs who’d visited Panarea the summer prior.

What was your first impression?
Ho-lee cow. Is this the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever seen in my life? Could be.

Please rate the Bar:
It’s nice. Very hip. But quite frankly, to opt for the bar over the lounge and turn your back on these incredible views, you’d really have to be kind of out of your mind.

Please rate the drinks/ cocktails/ wine:
The wine list is decent, and more diverse than you’d expect in a rather remote place like this. But it’s really expensive, of course.
Sorry, forgot to note anything about the cocktails, but I’m sure they’re expensive too. But what was it I’d said about the place in Salina with the other amazing view? Oh right, "with an ambience like this, I might very well have been quite happy drinking hooch and Boone’s Farm." Yea, that.

Please rate the Dining Room:
There are a few, and they’re all gorgeous, but closest to the fresh air is best. (After the sun goes down though, the view ceases to matter as much; it’s nothing but pitch out there.)

Please rate the BOH:
Very good. Far better than I’d expected, cuz the gratutitous lounge snacks really sucked. They should really rethink those— they’d fare much better with simple nuts and crackers than the bad crostini, the breadsticks that go stale, and the sad wilted fruit on a skewer. Less prep time, too. (Oh crap, I hate when I give out too much free advice, dammit!)

The food in the dining room’s good though, but really really expensive (€35.00 for an appetizer, hello). Plus they seem to run out of the more popular items pretty quickly.

How was the staff?
Great. They were very sweet and accommodating. Ha ha haa, you won’t even believe it, but our waitress used to work here in New York City— for a restaurateur in our party. How CRAZY is that.

What did you eat?/ How was the food?
Amberjack fresh from the sea : Delicious, perfect. Better than Blue Ribbon, which is a good thing cuz it’s double the price of Blue Ribbon, too. I mean, yes, that’s the sea yonder a stone’s-throw away, but oh forget it never mind. (By the way, I’d originally wanted the lobster and avocado— yah, at €35— but they were 86ed. Just sayin.)
Grilled squid : Decent. Could have been just a tad more tender, but fresh and tasty.
Pasta (with melanzane e funghi, was it? I forget now) :
It was okay. But shut up, who cares? Come on, you can get food anywhere…
Biscotti e malvasia : This is my favorite new thing. How am I going to live without Malvasia now?
Nobody else let me try their dishes : Can you believe it. Maybe they figured the food’s so expensive, they’d better hoard every last bite.

What did you like?
This place is like paradise.

What did you dislike?
That it’s so far away from home :(

What was your last impression?
Seriously, how fucking cool am I right now. I’m not even sure how I got here.

Would you come back?
Oh please please please please please gawd pleeeease….

Thank you, and hope to see you soon!
‘Piacere. Buona giornata, grazie e arrivederci.


More photographs of Panarea, and/or the rest of Isole Eolie are at abbediaz.com



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Until the release of PX Me – The Sequel to PX This (Spring 2012), this website will henceforth be updated only intermittently (approximately once or twice a week).
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