Gem between Siracusa and Agrigento; La Madia in Licata
Thanks, Michelin, for sending me to a 2 star restaurant in Licata.
Warning: on the outside it is just a door! Inside it is warm, spacious and beautiful. There is however no view. There was very nice jazz music in the background.
The waiter spoke some English and very good German (He had lived in Munich two years.) The chef came out to see me 3 times to make sure I was enjoying my meal.
I had the creative menu for 95 Euros (10 courses). Most were raw or lightly cooked fish and shellfish. I am sure you can ask them to cook them longer or try the "Classic menu" at 80 Euros.
I had a bottle of organic wine from Ragusa (Gulfi; 28 Euros)
Bread basket: 7 different kinds of warm bread (I had a loaf with figs, pistachios and almonds and a square piece of a flat bread with onions (a specialty of Palermo.))
1. Mozarella with a base of bread crumbs and tomatoes with fresh herbs.
2. a new dish (not on menu) red snapper with bread crumbs and pistachios on top.
3. a piece of cod on a bed of artichoke puree.
4. octopus in a fennel soup with artichoke chips.
5. raviolo of brocolli pure with a langoustine and lobster sauce.
6. spahetti with a big shrimp in a Jerusalem artichoke cream.
7. white tuna; mashed potatoes
8. mandarine jello
9. cannola with white cheese and pistachios; vanilla-masala ice cream
10. Jewel box of little desserts (mignardises)
Every dish used the freshest ingredients and screamed with flavor.
The total cost with coffee and water was 135 Euros for one.
Totally agree with Caestill... and we ate there in May, 2012, and had a totally different creative meal! Seasonality, and a chef who is still having fresh ideas, do that to a menu!
Obviously still the same baker, as I can smell the breadbasket just from reading your earlier post.
Many of the dishes made references to traditional ways of life, geological features, cultural history of Sicily. The ingredients alone told a story of the various conquests and influences, and many of the dishes were re-imaginings of traditional Sicilian staples, elevated and rebalanced into something ethereal.
I caught some, but am sure I missed others. Next time, I want to bring a patriotic and passionate Sicilian (is there any other kind)with me! And for the waiter to have to explain what the chef was thinking for each dish would be tedious , plus cold things would warm and warm things cool.
But go and just savour it as playful and clever cuisine. Unique to time and place. Michelin has it WRONG. It is SO much more than "worth a detour."
Just back from La Madia yesterday and a resounding affirmation to all the glowing reports above. The food was as described creative memorable exciting. The service was spot on. The wines suggested were lovely. A standout Feudo 2008 Girola Russo Randazzo. The execution of each dish was artistic with concern for all the senses. A truly memorable meal. Finding the place is a challenge however. And the drive there is at best an adventue bordering on an ordeal. About three hours from Siracusa. Dont let that put you off. Combine it with a morning visit to Agrigento an hour away and your three hour drive is redeemed with the three hour lunch. Our waiter spoke little to no English but my partners French and Portuguese got us htrough. At one point I could cobble together enough Italian to say I am sorry I dont speak Italian but I want words to say good good godd. The waiters very sweet reply was along the lines Not necessary I can see what you want to say in your face when you taste the food. A true place of gastronomic pilgrimage.