Watch: Nectar of the gods| Michelin star dining at Ta’ Frenċ

To a foodie like me, the title ‘AMBROSIAL’ can only spell promise of delight and, yet again, Ta’ Frenċ delivered on its promise – a night of culinary heaven paired with amazing wines. 
This time of year, Gozo is a particular delight. The evenings are just the right side of cool making a trip to the sister isle a pleasant and comfortable experience. The farmhouse at Ta’ Frenċoffers a relaxed yet tasteful ambiance for those who want good food in a genteel atmosphere. Indeed, over the past 35 years, Ta’ Frenċhas never let the side down. Its culinary standards have always been high and maintained so by the perfect trio: the late Ino Attard, Lino Cefai, Ino's business partner and founder of the Ta' Frenc Brand, Executive Chef Mario holding the vanguard of his able brigade, and the maître Joseph Tabone. Mary Grace Attard has, gracefully, courageously and competently, stepped into her late husband’s shoes and the show has certainly continued in style. 
The curtain raiser on the meal was a serving of treacle cured salmon and king prawn. The slight tartness of the pickled ginger and the kick of the coriander provided a successful foil to the sweet mellow salmon. The fish was paired with a mellow NV Metodo Classico from the Chiarlo vinyards in Piedmont. Fragrant and bubbly, it provided a nice smokey sparkle to the food.
The Foragers Soup was a delight to the senses and it has been some time since I really got excited by a soup. Who could have thought that the humble nettle could be jazzed up into a wild feast of tastes, perfectly complemented with the milk sheep gnocchi. Each mouthful was a delight and a regret: delight to consume yet alas, a diminishing portion. The Condrieu 2016, a Viogner from the Rhone had intense fruity notes and a long floral finish, which did not overpower the taste of the soup. 
I have to believe that the next dish, the local rabbit and leek turnover with piccalilli was as good as it sounded, and to the same exquisite level as the rest of the courses. Unfortunately, rabbit is off my menu for reasons which would make the chef cry, so I will desist and respect all tear ducts. From the comments of my colleagues however, the tender meat was well cooked and the unusual pairing with piccalilli was successful. The 2016 Pecorino served with it, was crisp and juicy with enough acid and body to make anyone sigh with satisfaction. 
Into the surf again with wild seabass, charred lettuce and wood sorrel. There is really no comparison to fish caught in the wild and this was a melt-in-the-mouth experience. The crisp charred lettuce and the soft seabass were a match made in heaven. A pale yellow Marsanne, the 2016 Saint Joseph accompanied the fish. Mildly citric in taste, it had the inevitable timbre of the granite found in the soils of the Rhone and the 2008 vintage from the Ferraton vineyard, is perhaps the quintessential example of Rhone whites. Eight vintages later, the chateau still delights the palate. 
At that point I felt that Chef Nigel Haworth and Executive Chef Mario Schembri deserved a round of applause for having treated us to a gourmet tour de force. Abraham Said’s sommelier, Fabien Etienne was as attentive and knowledgeable as one could wish. As I had the occasion to discuss with Mr Said that evening, the variety of whites provided by Vini e Capricci was not only eclectic in taste but also in affordability, making Abraham’s a go-to place for reliable advice on wine pairing. 
But the Michelin journey was not yet over, by any means. Who, if not two seasoned chefs, would be brave enough to combine lemon marmalade with local lamb, pinked to perfection and served with spinach and courgettes? One bite and I was taken mentally to the famous restaurant scene of ‘When Harry met Sally’. Ask Mr Google. You will know what I mean. That’s what that lamb does to you. And paired with the Côte Rôtie Shiraz from 2016, the gods were smiling all the way. Now that is a piece de resistance, if ever there was one, a serenade for the nose and tongue. Heavy on the credit card to be sure but, to (mis)quote another movie, you only live once.
Joyfully it started with a refreshing prosecco and sweetly it came to an end with an eminently drinkable and definitely repeatable Moscato d’Asti. For me, it’s always o’clock for this wine since the low alcoholic rating makes it suitable for any time of day. It accompanied a mouth-watering dessert of cherry goats’ cheese cake and cherry sorbet, elegantly set off with tangy basil. 
Coffee and Eccles cakes were left weeping in loneliness on the table since the race to the ferry back home precluded us from indulging, in one final splurge. Small regret in an otherwise perfect evening. Chef Nigel Haworth said that this sort of menu required three days of preparation. Indeed, this was evident in the perfection of the execution and presentation of the food. Ambrosial is the fifth in the Michelin series which Ta’ Frenċ have put up and, yet again, one can only say Bravo.