Note: I don’t think of Sicilian food as Italian. It takes its cues from anther muse. There are similarities: pasta, tomatoes, wine, sweets, seafood. But as with all things Sicilian, the interpretation is different. Not necessarily better than on the peninsula, but a thinking about the products and the interplay of ingredients that I have found to be unique in Sicily. Even our lowliest meal, at a fast food cafeteria in Piazza Armerina, the vegetables were to die for. Unfortunately I didn’t photograph them.
Let’s stop talking and start gawking, shall we? First stop, Sambuca di Sicilia.
Feudo di Arancio
This being an education and harvest trip, we came upon Segesta first in the morning. After that, we proceeded to a winery in full-swing with harvest work.
|Aperitivi e Spuntini at Feudo Arancio|
Dinner followed at a well-known restaurant in Porto Palo di Menfi, Da Vittorio.
Vittorio Brignoli came to Sicily from the north many years ago. He fell in love with a woman, the sea and Sicily. He never went back to Italy.
He is a lively chap. There is no menu (although there is a hefty wine list). “The sea is the menu,” he told our table. And the sea he brought to our table was glorious and incredible.
One of the best meals we had on the trip and probably one of the best I have had this year. Memorable and worth repeating.In any event, I would go here just to eat. There is a little hotel attached. The prices are swell. The sea is beautiful. Note to self: vacation 2015 at Da Vittorio in Porto Palo di Menfi.
|Caponata of Swordfish|
|Crudo of gambero rosso|
|Baby octopus fritti|
|Octopus in sauce|
|Pasta with Sea Urchin|
|Roasted fish caught that morning|
We were guests of the Zonin family at their Feudo Principi di Butera property. In full harvest, the winemaker, Claudio Galosi, still had time to show us around and have a quick, winemaker's meal with us. Home cooking...
Once we arrived to Mt. Etna we stayed in a quaint little hotel in Linguaglossa, the Shalai Resort. We had been driving that day and when we got to Etna, a rain storm of biblical proportions ensued upon us. We opted for the hotel restauarnt, whcih was a great choice. Their wine list was to die for.
|Pasta alla Norma|
After Etna, we headed back towards Palermo and stopped one night at Regaleali. I so love this place, as it embodies so much of where modern Sicilian wine was born. Again, home cooking, and the best cannolo I have ever had.
|Fried Green Beans|
|Pasta con Finocchietto e Pangrattato|
Sferracavallo - Da Giannό
For our last night, I took us back to where Manuela Laiacona took me last year, to Da Gianno'. Right on the water, no nonsense fish. Fresh as can be. A great way to end a busy week of education and harvest observation in Sicily 2014.
|Mussels and Clams|
|Grilled fish - Gianno's recommendation|
Wines we drank? Go HERE...buon appetito!
written and photographed (with the exception of the image of Vittorio Brignoli) by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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