Sunshine and Seafood in Scoglitti
Some of my friends have been after me for quite some time to organize a roadtrip to Scoglitti, on the southeast corner of Sicily, a sleepy little beach town where our friend and auto mechanic Tony owns a restaurant. I had been there once before and told them how much I'd enjoyed it. Finally, we settled on a day and arranged it with Tony, who would meet us near Ragusa and guide us around the area before having lunch at his restaurant in Scoglitti.
After about an hour's drive from Sigonella, Tony met us "at the second Tamoil" on the highway to Ragusa. (Tamoil is the biggest gas station chain in Sicily.) We drove through Comiso and past the now-abandoned U.S. Air Force base there (brand-new school, closed). We stopped for a coffee and the best little ricotta "cream puff" with a crunchy crust I've ever had. The area is famous for ricotta made from cow's milk (usually it is sheep's). I hope to return to try the Sicilian breakfast of warm ricotta sometime.
Tony took us to his son Anthony's new house, still under construction, and Anthony gave us a tour of the whole place. He is currently laying tiles and stones mosaic-style in the entire front yard, quite a large and ambitious project. His wife studied art and it helping design it. Like many Sicilians, Anthony is doing all of the finishing of the house himself with the help of family members. This saves a lot of money but takes a lot of time. He's going to have a beautiful place when it's all done.
Next, we went to the famous Sicilian Donnafugata Castello, a popular destination for both locals and tourists in the area. This is not where the wine by the same name is produced, but it is a nicely situated and attractive palace that has been somewhat restord for tours. We enjoyed the various rooms--the standard "hall of mirrors," banqueting rooms, the bishop's rooms, the painted ceilings, suits of armor, statues, chandeliers, hand-painted wallpaper, antique furniture, and the surrounding gardens. Photos are not permitted inside, although we sneaked a few.
Finally, we settled down to a fine lunch at Pizza in Piazza prepared by John for us--cold seafood salad, pasta with lobster and salmon, mixed salad, and a whole fresh fish for each of us. We ate every bit, washing it down with bottles of the local Cerasuola wine and followed, of course, by expresso.
Fine food, fine friends, and a fine day for all. Life is good!