Point to note about The Knolls: You can have almost any kind of cuisine imaginable, from Balinese to Italian—but only if there’s two of you. The entire menu comprises of set dinners for couples or groups, so if you’re flying solo, or just not the sharing type, you’re relegated to the far more limited a la carte menu.
That observation aside, with the restaurant’s stunning sea view location at boutique hotel Capella’s poolside, we were happy to watch dusk settle into evening as the resident peacocks returned to roost. Feeling that stuffing ourselves with the bread basket was quite enough carbs for one evening, we went for the baby romaine salad served with grilled asparagus, and served alongside a toe‑curlingly expensive Sauvignon Blanc. It’s usually hard to muster up enthusiasm for a bowl of leaves, but this was particularly worthwhile. The musky tang of the anchovies complemented the rich lemon aioli dressing perfectly, and the asparagus stalks were huge and juicy, but not in the least bit stringy.
The main course was an oven‑baked salmon papilotte, which we ordered without the faintest clue as to what a papilotte was. It turned out to be a foil‑baked dish that came with fresh scallops and prawns, and served with ribbons of Tuscan vegetables. It was wonderfully fragrant and bursting with flavor, the foil having retained all the moisture and taste of the ingredients.
Too full and satiated to try one of their signature desserts, we opted for a scoop of ice‑cream to round the meal off. But far from being a compromise, it was a dish in itself. We were delighted with the scoop of mud pie ice‑cream served on top of crushed cookies and flanked by blueberries on one side, and raspberries on the other.
The Knolls is a spectacular locale for a romantic early evening meal. Just make sure you go with someone to get the most out of it.