Ok, so really, we’re in Albania now. After a few days of food, parties, family, and more food…all of which were an undocumented blur besides me in traditional Albanian dress for the Bachelorette party…
…Lindi and I jumped the border for a little fun in the sun; what we considered a short second honeymoon.
We’ve been to the Albanian coast before, but never to the small town of Dhërmi. After a 3 hour struggle to cross the border (long story!) and 8 hours of driving on sometimes-unpaved roads, we were exhausted. Thankfully, we were completely rejuvenated by the sight of the sea waiting for us:
We checked into the Hotel Luciano, grabbed the best table at their restaurant downstairs, and instantly relaxed.
At Sunset, we stole some glasses from the hotel’s bar and made spritzers from local white wine (If you’ve never made a spritzer before, and since this is a blog of recipes: 2 parts wine, 1 part sparkling water)
And I got a private serenade from a wine model.
Soon, it was time for dinner. We showered, put on some real clothes and headed down to the hotel’s restaurant. The reason we picked this hotel in the first place was for the food. We were told locals flock to this place for all meals of the day, so we knew we couldn’t go wrong.
On the menu: FRESH SEAFOOD. We started with a shrimp soup. It was dairy based and tasted like it was made from milk, butter, parsley & shrimp. Not a bad start.
Next up were the entrees. Lindi ordered mussels (he can never resist when they’re on a menu!)
and I ordered some sort of shrimp & sauce dish. It was not exactly what I thought it was going to be; the sauce was very heavy and cheesy, but it was delicious. Kind of like macaroni & cheese with shrimp minus the macaroni. Weird, but good.
Both of our meals were completely satisfying. There’s nothing like eating fresh seafood while listening to the crash of waves on the beach.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early to a sunny day and a wonderfully simple breakfast.
No eggs or pancakes for us. We had freshly baked bread, local honey, homemade butter, feta cheese, and hot tea. I’m pretty sure it was the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten. Ever.
Simple and fresh, with a side of the sea.
**sigh** I wish I was there right now.
We spent the rest of the day laying on the beach, drinking local beer and playing sudoku (gotta keep the mind sharp, right?). Next thing we knew, it was time for dinner. We made the long journey of about 400 feet back to the restaurant and ordered this spread:
1. Greek Salad: big chunks of tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers, feta cheese, and black olives with a light dressing of olive oil and vinegar. I must make this at home more often.
2. Squid? The waiter didn’t know how to translate this, only “it’s kind of like calamari”. We figured it was squid; whatever it was, it was grilled, fresh, and delicious.
3. More shrimp! I love love love boiled shrimp, so I was very excited to try fresh from the sea I had just been swimming in. That’s before I was brought a place of pretty pink crustaceans….with EYES!
I was fairly grossed out at the fact that my little shrimp were staring at me, but I was able to get past it after a few bites. Tasty tasty tasty!
Not only did we love the food, but we were so impressed with the portion sizes. Somehow, Europe just knows exactly how much food will leave you perfectly satisfied and not at all stuffed. The good old US of A needs to figure this one out!
….And that was Dhërmi! Too short of a stay at the beach, but we had more wedding festivities to get back to in Kosovo!
To be continued…