Saturday, August 23, 2008

A week of eating: Cefalu, Sicily

Cefalu, proclaimed as "The Pearl of the Mediterranean" by locals (more like the "Bodrum of Sicily") , made this recent week of eating and drinking an enjoyable (although caloric) marathon. This ancient town, perched along the sea under a massive rocky geography , has both in its medieval neighborhood and along the main beach some excellent restaurants at good value. Predictably, eateries make use of the great local produce as well as the natural beauty of the surroundings. Sicilian tomatoes, lemons and seafood are some of the best in the Med, and dishes such as spaghetti vongole, sardine tagliatelli, pizzas in various forms, thinly cut beefsteaks, seafood carpaccio, grilled fish of all types (especially swordfish) , shellfish, etc. are present on nearly every menu. The local wine and beers are all reasonably priced so you may slake your thirst without breaking the bank.

Terrace seating at the Osteria del Duomo (steps lead to the 1150 Arab-Norman cathedral)

Caprese salad

Fish and shellfish carpaccio (apparently the best in town)

Sardine pasta, a local specialty

Roast gambas

The view from the terrace of Al Grabbiano

Heaven in a glass

Spaghetti vongole (the best in Cefalu IMHO)

Roast swordfish (another local favourite)

The best pizza we tried in Cefalu

L'Antica Corte

...located in a charming medieval courtyard

Relatively correct pasta with ham and mushrooms

Ditto for the steak , but , hey , the 15€ three course menu was a bargain

These are the addresses we tried out- unfortunately only one, L'Osteria, figures in the Michelin guide, the one place we were the least impressed with, although their terrace is the best in town (although infested by agressive wasps.....)

Osteria del Duomo, via Seminario 3, Cefalu, +390921421838

Al Grabbiano, via Lungomare Giardina 17, Cefalu, +390921421495

L'Antica Corte, Off Corso Ruggero, Cefalu, +390921423228

Al Porticciolo, Via Carlo Ortolani di Bordonaro 66, Cefalu, +390921921981

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Watt the f**k?

Worst burger in Paris- Leader Price bread rolls, processed cheese, steak haché , frozen fries and limpid, brown salad (not pictured: the "crostini": a piece of white bread, with a bit of cheese and one sad tomato)

I'm having a bad gastroweek. Just when I thought nothing could top the MINI PALAIS, I had dinner at WATT, on a little sidestreet just off of the Saint Germain des Pres. The resto has a fairly pleasant lofty style atmosphere and accompanying bobo clientelle, and the place was packed. Couldn't be all that bad could it. Yes. Everything from the tiny tapas starters (I kid you not, the chicken terryaki skewers were pure Picard) to the insipid hamburger and country style fries was right from the freezer. Industrial. As . You. Can. Get. How people can get away with this shit I have no idea. Maybe a significant portion of the French are just a stupid dining public?

Recommended , by the way, by Pudlo.