Giorgio Locatelli, The Daily Telegraph, July 16, 2013
Where Giorgio Locatelli would enjoy...
A typical brunch
In Palermo, one of the best friggitorie [fried food shops] is I Cuochini, which sells arancini [rice balls], timballini di pasta [deep-fried pasta], pasticcino [a sweet pastry filled with mince] and sfinciuni, a soft flat bread topped with tomatoes, onion, anchovies, cheese, toasted breadcrumbs and oregano.
I Cuochini (Via Ruggero Settimo 68, Politeama, Palermo; 0039 0915 81158; icuochini.com ) From about 1 euro per item.
My favourite place is Da Vittorio Ristorante, a fish restaurant on the beach in Porto Palo di Menfi. There's no menu, but the antipasti might include red prawns, octopus in oil and lemon juice or marinaded anchovies - whatever the fishermen have caught that day - and the mains might be pasta with sea urchins, pasta with mixed seafood, or catch of the day grilled on the barbecue.
In Modica (pictured below), La Locanda del Colonello does elegant versions of street food as a starter - rice balls with saffron, mozzarella and rocket; panini filled with tuna; and penelle di ceci [chickpea fritters] - and main courses such as pork fillet in a chicory and pine-nut sauce, or amberjack in a tomato sauce with capers and oregano. Next to the fish market in Catania is Osteria Antica Marina, named after the arches of a 19th-century viaduct nearby. It does only fish and seafood: fried calamari, mussels or octopus salad as a starter, say, then fish soup, spaghetti in cuttlefish ink, seafood risotto or grilled lobster.
Da Vittorio Ristorante (Via Friuli Venezia Giulia 9, â ¨Porto Palo di Menfi; 0925 78381; ristorantevittorio.it ). Three courses à la carte about 35 euros.
La Locanda del Colonello (Vico Biscari 6, Modica; 0932 752423; lalocandadelcolonnello.com ) Three courses à la carte about 30 euros.
Osteria Antica (Via Pardo 29, Catania; 0953 48197; anticamarina.it ) Marina Tasting menus 25 euros (three courses) to 65 euros (six courses), three courses à la carte about 40 euros.
At La Vucciria market in Palermo, there's a bar called Taverna Azzurra which does veleno, meaning poison, though some people call it sangue, blood. It's vermouth-based, like a negroni, but not so refined. You have it as a shot or on ice, with grilled meat or panino con la milza - boiled spleen, fried and sliced into a sandwich, then maritata ["married"] with cheese -from one of the stalls.
Taverna Azzurra (Via Maccheronai 15, La Vucciria, Palermo) Shot of veleno, 1 euro, snacks from 2 euros).
Not far from La Vucciria market is Santandrea, where you can sit at a table in the square, watch the world go by and order pasta con el sarde as a starter, say, followed by a beautiful tuna steak. It's usually packed with locals. Another of my favourites is Al Duomo, facing the Piazza del Duomo in Taormina, where you can dine on the terrace in summer and order the freshest fish or Sicilian specialities such as braised lamb or goat stew and maccu, "mashed beans" with finocchietto selvatico [wild fennel] and other seasonal greens.
Ristorante Santandrea (Piazza Sant'Andrea 4, Palermo; 0913 34999; ristorantesantandrea.eu ) Three courses à la carte from 30 euros.
Ristorante Al Duomo (Vico Ebrei 11, Taormina; 0942 625656; ristorantealduomo.it ) Three courses àla carte from 40 euros.
I have two suggestions, both in the south and both with two Michelin stars. At La Madia in Licata, Pino Cuttaio uses traditional ingredients with real flair: rice balls with red mullet ragout and wild fennel; salt cod smoked over pine cones; red prawns with a bottarga [tuna roe] mayonnaise. Ciccio Sultano, at Duomo in Ragusa, does things like Ragusano cheese gnocchi with pork and cuttlefish meatballs, clams, mussels and carbonara sauce, and scabbard fish with smoked Provola cheese, chargrilled vegetables and red prawns.
Ristorante La Madia (Corso F Re Capriata 22, Licata; 0922 771443; ristorantelamadia.it ) Tasting menus 80 euros (five courses), 95 euros (six courses) and 115 euros (seven courses); three courses à la carte from 65 euros.
Ristorante Duomo (Via Capitano Bocchieri 31, Ragusa; 0932 651265; cicciosultano.it ) Tasting menus 120 euros, 135 euros (both nine courses), 160 euros (nine courses, with wines) and 190 euros (12 courses, with wines); three courses à la carte
Sicily travel guide
Lee Marshall's expert guide to Sicily, including how to get there, how to get around, and his pick of the best hotels and attractions.