After our orders were taken we were served complimentary baked popovers with a red pepper aioli. The aioli was powerfully garlicky – more garlicky than garlic, I joked - but who doesn't like garlic, so we dug in and laughed about how we would end up reeking from it all.
And then it stopped being amusing.
My wife’s Caesar salad was also overpoweringly garlicky. So was my Georgian White Fish and her Fishmonger pasta bowl. Great chunks of garlic covered the fish and the honey-glazed carrots, and while the Fishmonger pasta to its credit was overflowing with seafood, so too was it overflowing with big chunks of garlic.
Our palates were blitzed, stunned, put out of commission, unable to detect anything but nearly-raw garlic. It is hard to understand how the kitchen staff believes that such a heavy hand is appropriate; it was near-amateur and I can only assume that the usual kitchen oversight was missing that night.
I have never experienced anything like it before and I will never experience it again at Villa Nina as there’s no way we’d return.
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