Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Rocco Forte Verdura Resort on Sicliy's remote and exciting south coast brings amore to AMARE (7-16-17

We were so lucky to be invited to a truly spectacular lunch at AMARE at the amazing Rocco Forte Verdura resort located about 40 minutes from Agrigento,  near the south coast town of Sciacca. I have to first say, that I thought this location to be odd, but now am convinced it is the perfect place to take a break while touring as well as be a center for your touring to places like Agrigento, Sciacca, the nearby mountain towns and so much more as well as the beach, huge pools, multiple dining options, kids club, blow-your-mind spa with fabulous thalasso-therapy pools, not to mention 45 holes of golf! The food was more than special as well at the casual seaside AMARE which sits on the rocky coastline that turns into a huge sand beach at the resort.
We have come to love the local Sicilian pasta called Busiate which is slightly thick and twirled (like DNA single strand) and here served with the superb local gamberetti (red prawns) and pistachio. I am going to start making my pasta this way when I get home, not to mention using pistachio for pesto, as well as almonds.
Caprese Salad here is a dream of local Mozzarella di Bufala, gorgeous tomatoes and balsamic and my Sashimi of raw fish & crustacean starter was a dream dish of local treat on a huge slab of Himalayan pink rock salt which included, swordfish, tuna, shrimp and sea bass dressed adoringly with local herbs. Be sure to check out the FB photos.
The wine was a revelations with a Guccione Cattarato from Monreale outside of Palermo that impressed us all to no end. I am not a fan of "orange" wine, but this funky, loaded with flavor and mineral wine was on the verge of that and also in color. It's a must taste experience if you make it here as I truly doubt it can be had abroad.
Maccheroncini con aglio e pomodoro ciliegino with basil was Sam's favorite pasta, although, I have to say, they have all been special.
Our host, Angelo, whom we adore, had the Tartare di tonno with ricotta e fagiolini(green beans) as well as a superb Spaghetti alla Vongole with the most delicate of clams.
Sam had the Elogio al Guisto which was a vegetable sashimi with avocado, green tomato, strawberry and mango with wasabi vinaigrette.
Gelati and sorbetti are all housemade and the tangerine, lemon and strawberry were loaded with fruit flavors, but I was "in cielo" (in heaven) with  Cremoso di Pistacchio con Gelato ai fichi as I adore the local pistachios and who can turn down anything with fig!?
It was creamy and rich, but not to sweet or overfilling and the fig gelato was just the right foil to the rich dish.
When in Sicily you never turn down a dessert wine and the best is always Planeta 2016 Passito di Noto, made where we were just several days prior and have come to love....it is OH so sweet and unctuous and I will have bottles in my bags to take home1
I can not imagine returning to Sicily without a stop here!