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Why this excellent Italian restaurant has a French name is beyond me. Maybe it’s the presence of a scrumptious crème brulé on the dessert menu. Cafe Matisse occupies a pale ochre century-old house cleverly hidden in plain sight, on a street behind the Parliament building just two blocks from the cruise port.
 
The open-plan dining rooms have modern prints on the walls, but it’s nicer to sit in the shade on  the lovely dining patio under palms and flowering plants.
 
The menu is solidly Italian—spinach gnocchi with a gorgonzola and walnut sauce, ossobusso alla milanese served with the traditional saffron-tinged risotto, rigatoni with a lamb and asparagus ragu, sliced duck breast in a spicy sauce with polenta—though there are a few local touches, like the grilled lobster (though even that is served in a limoncello cream sauce and with beans) or the delicious linguine with a whole lobster tail and cherry tomatoes.