Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cantinia Siciliana, impossible to find, but worth the trip if in Trapani, Sicily (7-17-17)

Cantina Siciliana in Trapani on the extreme west coast was recommended by a friend of mine, and while trying to negotiate the way too narrow medieval streets, we almost gave up as our guidance lady was having a fit (and so was my husband!).
Ultimately, I spotted it and we found a parking space a couple of blocks away in this maze-like fishing port.
Unassuming, tiny and almost feeling out of place, we were greeted by owner Pino Maggiore at the door and settled in to a short, but delicious and satisfying lunch.
Samuel wanted to try "their" Bruschetta as here it is made with Pane Nero des Castelvetrano, which is really NOT black bread, just brown, but superb. The bruschetta is hot here and Will and I tried a novel local version made with Tuna Bottargo that was salty and delicious. Will went on to have the Psat al Uovo di Tonna e Madorle di Noto which is a local pasta made with same tuna bottargo as well as almonds. I started with with Tris di Pesce Macerato which was a sashimi plate of swordfish, tuna and red prawns, I honestly could eat the amazing raw fish here every day forever! Samuel chose a dish we have come to adore and eat often, Busiato al Pesto Trapanese, but here the pesto is a basil and tomato base with almonds and has no cheese. This version had fried eggplant making it heavier, but the perfect dish for a vegetarian.
My main course was Cuscusu di Pesce condito con Aglio Rosso di Nubia. You must understand that western and southwestern Sicily are more African and hence coucous and other "Arab" influences have maintained their strength. This dish was cousous with chunks of tasty fish served with a bowl of red garlic broth from nearby Nubia that was truly spectacular. I ladled the borth over the couscous and fish as I ate it so that the dish did not get soggy as I went along; a journey I shall always remember and cherish.

There was no room for dessert and we had afternoon plans to hike to a belvedere...so off we went on our Sicilian adventures.