With nearly ten years of travel experience across Sicily with our small group tours, I have been able to enjoy some incredible meals. This blog post is but a small reference for you as you travel. More to come; Siracusa, Agrigento, Caltagirone and Taormina.
Stay tuned and watch for the next update!
Amidst the splendor of Sicilan Baroque architecture that has won the southeastern cities of Noto, Ragusa, Scicli and Modica their well deserved designation as World Heritage Sites, are two treasures of another kind.
During my years of travel to Modica, these two restaurants are my go-to favorites.
Locanda del Colonnello
Over ten years ago I made the wonderful acquaintance of the Failla family in Modica. My first visit to the city was capped by a marvelous visit to this family run hotel. The main part of the hotel has been designed in to the owner’s families residence. There is dependence across the road from the hotel.
I can’t put in to words how gracious and generous the Failla family are to guests. This place is a treasure.
To top a great stay, enjoy a meal at Locanda del Colonnello, their on-site restaurant located in the building with ultra-modern, gorgeous dependence rooms.
The dining rooms are sparsely furnished. Framed black and white photographs tell the history of the Failla family and of Modica. The menu constantly changes with daily specials all lovingly and deliciously prepared by the chef, Francesco Mineo.
Rather than list the incredible diversity of offerings, here is a link to the menu for the restaurant:
Locanda del Colonnello
Osteria dei Sapori Perduti
With a name that translates to the Tavern of Lost Flavors, you would hardly expect the incredible array of freshly prepared Sicilian delicacies this place prepares. Amazing. The menu goes on and on, the service is flawless and, as is typical in many Sicilian restaurants, prices are very fair.
For Secondi they offer (as examples), Carne di Maiale al Forno (finely sliced pieces of select ham, luscious pieces of garden grown tomato, onion, oregano and red pepper. The meat is cooked in the sauce for a long time and that makes it juicy tender and just right), Melanzane condite (breaded and olive oil fried eggplant prepared with fresh local cheeses, chopped hard boiled eggs and fresh tomato) and, finally, one last specialty,Cognliaio all “stimpirata” (fresh rabbit, carrots, celery, garlic, capers, fresh mint, olive oil fried potatoes, vinegar and white wine).
When the tourist buses discourage visitors at the Villa del Casale, the monumental archeological treasure that once was the hunting lodge of the Roman Emperor Maxentius, little do those visitors know of a small treasure of a restaurant in the nearby town of Piazza Armerina.
I learned of Da Toto from a driver who was escorting me around the island during a preparation trip for our small group tours. The place is a delight. Table cloth-covered tables fill the dining room and, even at lunch, a cold buffet of local special antipasti entice diners to Sicilian food heaven.
I love their welcome: “No matter what time you arrive, there will be a place for you, our staff will make you feel at home and you will enjoy meals accompanied by great service.”
Try this list as an enticement to make sure that you enjoy a meal here!
- • Pappardelle alla centrale (local red sauce on freshly made pasta)
- • Trofie con pistacchio di Bronte (Pasta with pistachio, a Sicilian delicacy)
- • Trippa alla parmigiana (tripe prepared with local recipe with Parmigiano Reggiano)
- • Tagliatelle ai funghi porcini (fresh wide pasta, hand made, with Porcini mushrooms)
- • Cavati alla Turiddù (fresh pasta, hand made, with a special ‘near red Vodka sauce’)
- • Filetto al pepe verde (beef filet prepared to order covered with green peppers)
- • Grigliata di pesce (a mixed grill of seafood, fresh from the coast of southern Sicily)
Via Mazzini, 29
94015 Piazza Armerina EN, Italy
Hours: Open Daily, 12:00 Noon – 4:00PM and 6:o0PM to 1:00AM
On the wide and expansive slopes of Mt. Etna, on the eastern face of the volcano, is the small village of Milo. When the chestnut trees begin to reflect the arrival of fall, it is time to head to Quattro Archi, THE place to enjoy lunch or dinner in this area of Sicily.
The volcanic soil that covers the landscape in every direction in this region of the island is rich, fertile and contains the perfect amount of mineral and ‘magic’ to produce kilos of Porcini mushrooms in season. A large Porcini covered table greets diners as they enter; a harbinger of tastes to come!
The Grasso family opened their restaurant in 1995. The staff always is welcoming, the service impeccable and the food – delizioso!
The philosophy of the Grasso family is reflected in this statement, taken from their web site.
I 4 Archi si riconosce nella filosofia di Slow Food: sceglie materie prime locali rispettando le stagioni, lavora direttamente con i piccoli produttori, garantendo la tracciabilità dei prodotti.
“The Four Arches recognizes the philosophy of Slow Food: choose local raw materials which reflect the seasons, work directly with small producers and ensure the true origins of products used.”
The atmosphere of the restaurant could not be warmer, and the locals who rarely see tourists will welcome you with vivacious hospitality. You will NOT go wrong with a lunch or dinner at Quattro Archi, the Four Arches.