It was a lovely Saturday in February and we finally visited the well known restaurant in Albania, Mrizi i Zanave. I was curios to visit this place. I had heard a lot about it. The name of the restaurant is after a book of poems called ‘Mrizi i Zanave’ (the ‘Shade of the Fairies’) written by the famous writer, patriot and Catholic priest Gjergj Fishta, universally known as the national poet of Albania until the communists took power in 1944, who was from the same village, Fishte, the region of Zadrima, North West Albania.
We arrived in the evening. The atmosphere inside the restaurant was warm and nice. The fireplace, the pictures on the wall and the light music coming from the piano in the hall made us feel welcome. It was new to us, beautiful.
Beautiful smile of the waitresses saying nothing but showing you the way to the table awaits for you at the doorway. Fairies leading and enchanting you to a new experience which you can’t but let yourself fall under the spell. The dishes will follow one by one in harmony, superb presentation for the eyes, a true festival of flavours and colors.
Dishes made of local products.
Our children could not wait to go outside, play and see the farm – part of the restaurant. We left the food for a little and went after them. As we looked at the farm, heard the sounds of the livestock and children and smelled the manure … such a reminiscence of childhood captured us. What a nostalgic feeling invaded us making us remember the beautiful days when we visited our uncles at the farm. My daughter could find right away all the animal characters of her favourite book the Charlotte’s Web. She was excited and happy to see the pigs, she would identify the runt piglet whom the little girl of the book treated as a pet, there were also animals in the barn, the lamb, the talkative goose and the intelligent ‘old sheep’. What a happy moment for children to see all these farm animals in one place.
The restaurant was more than a place where to eat. It was the poetry blending together with all the flavors of fields of Zadrima, a melody. A melody of one’s love for his village, fields and the early sunrise. At those deliciuous moments, we thought of the brothers Prenga, the owners of the restaurant, who made that miracle for the people of a poor village, giving them jobs and living. They made our day a beautiful experience to be remembered for ever.