Posts Tagged ‘Food & Wine’

Visit Eataly in Turin

Eataly in Turin is one stop shopping, Italian style.
Opened in 2007, this former vermouth factory was the first its kind showcasing the principles of the slow food movement. There are now branches in New York and Bologna.

Eataly in Turin


Often described as a “megastore with a high end food court and learning centre”, the ground floor is dedicated to separate areas displaying an amazing selection of cheese, meat, fish and fresh vegetables.

Fresh vegetable selection at Eataly, Turin

Fresh vegetables

Meat selection at Eataly, Turin

Buy your meat here!

Fabulous cheese selection at Eataly, Turin

Fabulous cheeses

A large gourmet food section offers many different brands of oil, vinegar, pasta, rice and tomato sauce .
I stopped in front of a wall of extra virgin olive oil . There were hundreds to choose from. It was the same with the pasta.

Extra Virgin Oils at Eataly, Turin

Which one do I choose!

Pasta selection at Eataly in Turin

Pasta selection

There’s even a milk vending machine. Simply bring your empty milk bottles and refill them here.

Milk vending machine at Eataly in Turin

Milk vending machine

Dotted around these fresh food areas are the many food counters offering different meal choices
Choose from La Vedura, for a vegetarian lunch or cheese platter. La Carne grills different cuts of meat whilst over at the La Pizza e La Focaccia, a wood fired oven waits for pizza orders. There were also many pasta dishes to order. Finish with dolci from the great selection of cakes, pastries and gelati.Wander around the stations choosing from all on offer but don’t forget to reserve your table first so you are able to give them the table number when you order your meal.

If you prefer to be waited on, downstairs is the restaurant Guido, from Pollenza.

Vegetarian dishes from Le Vedure at Eataly in Turin

Order vegetarian dishes from Le Vedure

The meat counter at Eataly in Turin

The meat counter

We chose a tasty baked fish and vegetables from the seafood restaurant.

Baked fish and vegetables at Eataly in Turin

Baked fish and vegetables

Don’t forget to visit the cellars. There is an extensive selection of wines from all over Italy. The special bottles are found in the Reserve Room! There’s even a beer bar for hubby to try the latest boutique beer whilst you peruse the cook books or look for that special kitchen gadget you must take home.

Wine cellar at Eataly, Turin

Wine cellar

Wines at Eataly, Turin

Wines for sale

My favourite area was the glass fronted coolrooms which are also downstairs.
Wheels of parmesan sit side by side, whilst next door the prosciutto and salamis are hanging around

Parmesan stored in the cellar at Eataly, Turin

Parmesan stored in the cellar

Prosciutto at Eataly, Turin


Coolroom at Eataly, Turin

Proscuitto and Salami in the coolroom


Via Nizza 203/14
Lingotto, Turin

Take the underground from Porta Nuova to Lingotto and walk back past the Fiat Factory




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Turin is chocolate heaven and the best chocolatier in Turin is Guido Gobino.
It is also the home of the Bicerin, a drink of coffee, chocolate and cream.
Combine the two and you have a taste sensation!

Summer bicerin in a test tube at Guido Gobino. You might just need two!

Guido Gobino
Via Giuseppe Luigi Lagrange, 1

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A bar specialising in the wines of Sicily as well as the hams, salamis and cheeses of Italy was always going to be a winner with us.
I Grilli became our local bar in Trapani.

The stone walls created a welcoming atmosphere. Along the side wall, the meats and cheeses were on display whilst at the back of the bar, the open grill was ready to cook to order. Renato, our host, was very knowledgeable on the different cheeses and meats on the menu and his wine suggestions were excellent.


Fabulous cheese – Primosale, Caciocavallo Ragusano DOP and a Piacentino with saffron, all with different marmalades


Speck di Sauris(Udine), Salami with pistachio and Tuscan smoked beef.
Great with drinks or for lunch

Perfect lunch salad.

If you wanted something a bit more substantial, the meals from the grill looked great.

I Grilli
Via Victor Emmanuele

And now for the best pizza in Sicily!
We had not had many pizza nights so this was a hard call but it was certainly one of the best I have had. Calvino Pizze has been an institution in Trapani since 1946.
You can eat in the pizzeria, which is a rabbit warren of different rooms, or take away.

Pizza Rustica with carciofi (artichoke) and mozzarella.

Pizza Misto Calvino, which is half Pizza Trapanesi (Anchovy,tomato, parsely,oregano & mozzarella) and half Pizza Rianata (Anchovy, tomato, pecorino, parsely, oregano& oil)

Before leaving, I popped into the kitchen to see the action.

Pizzas were lined up to for the toppings

The boys were only too willing to stop for a group photo

Fires burning ready for the pizzas

Calvino Pizze
Via Nunzio Nasi

A little wine bar near the port in Via Roma served a great passito from Cantine Pellegrino on Pantelleria.
Perfect after pizza.

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Trapani was full of surprises.
Not having planned to stay here, the first surprise was that we loved it.
We were also surprised that it was an elegant town with wide streets lined with baroque churches and villas and surprisingly sophisticated shops.



Corso Vittorio Emmanuele is the main street of the old town, starting at the fishing port and ending at Via Torrearsa.


At this intersection is Palazzo Senatorio where the local men gather morning,noon and night.


Via Torrersa is a paved shopping street leading from the port to the beach side.
Here menswear shops outshine the women’s shops
Hidden behind the clock tower of Palazzo Senatorio, is the entrance to another maze of streets with Via della Cuba leading to a group of interesting shops in Piazzetta della Cuba.


In Trapani, you are never far from the water. Water surrounds the old town with the sea walls on the beach side and the port on the other.


Whilst staying here we had an excellent dinner at Osteria La Bettolaccia

Mixed seafood antipasti

Grilled fish

Busiate pasta with seafood. Busiate is traditional pasta of this area

We enjoyed an excellent bottle of Zahir, a Nero d’Avola from Abbazia Santa Anastasia in the Madonie Mountains

Osteria La Bettolaccia
Via General E Fardella, 25
Tel: 0923 21695


Tentazioni di Gusto
Via Badia Nuova 27/29
Tel:+39 0923 548165

A good dinner, but not as good as La Bettolaccia.

It’s not easy choosing where to stay in Trapani. There are many B&B’s but no standout hotels.
All Trapani needs now is a small boutique hotel.

Residence La Gancia
Piazza Mercato del Pesce
Tel:+39 0923 438060
Residence La Gancia

Ai Lumi Bed & Breakfast
Corso Victor Emmanuele, 75
Tel:+39 0923 872418
Ai Lumi Bed & Breakfast

I Colori del Vento
Viale Regina Elina, 62
Tel: 3472504630 or 0923 1890531
I Colori del Vento
Alessandra has access to a simple but adequate apartment in a good position.

Be careful parking your car overnight on the street by the port.
Monday night, the city side of the road is swept and cars will be towed away
Tuesday night, the port’s side of the street is cleaned.
Parking charges start at 8am but you can pre pay this the night before and leave the ticket on the window. Parking in the white lines is free whilst if you park in the blue lines, payment is due. There is free parking in front of the coast guard office.

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Decisions, decisions.
We had not booked our accommodation for the next few nights as we were not sure where the day would finish but we knew Marsala was our first stop.

Heading to the centre of the town , we found a parking spot just outside the gates to the old centre and right next to a very busy pasticerria, Antica Pasticerria de Gaetano.
Perfect for a quick lunch!

Pasta al Forno

Egg, mozzarella and eggplant wrapped in pasta and baked in the oven

How could we not try the mini gelato cones

Tempting pastries. Mignon di fragollini e chocolato, cannoli and cassatina.

We had to try them – all fantastic!

A quick walk through the old part of town followed

Through the Garibaldi Gate

Via Garibaldi

The main square at the end of Via Garibaldi with the Chiesa Madre and Palazzo VII Aprile

Marsala is one of the largest wine producing areas in Sicily and a visit is not complete without a tour of the Florio cellars. Tours in English are at 11am and 4.30pm.

Gates of Florio Cantine

Entrance to the cellars

Large barrique

One of the cellar rooms

Fun labels from Florio

We decided not to stay at one of the many agriturismos on the route between Marsala and Trapani, and instead headed for Trapani along the Via del Sale, The Salt Route

I had seen many photos of the unusual windmills against the blue sky with mounds of white salt in the salt pans. The day was overcast (even the locals had been talking about the unusual weather) so the photos are more shades of grey.


This windmill is at the Salt Museum in Nubia where ancient methods of salt production are explained.

You never know what’s around the corner

Next stop, Trapani

Antica Pasticerria de Gaetano
Via Mario Rapisardi, 13

Bagno Oneto
Contrada Baronazzo Amafi, 55
91025 Marsala
Tel:+39 0923 764222

Baglio Vajarassa

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From olive oil to wines.
After our stay at Mandranova, we move further along the coast to stay at La Foresteria on one of Planeta’s five vineyards that are dotted over the island. There are two wineries at Menfi as well as at one at Vittoria, Noto and Sambuca di Sicilia with a sixth due to start soon at Sciara Nuova on Etna. They are also a major olive oil producer.
La Foresteria is on their Gurra vineyard, just outside Menfi.


The rooms, opening onto boxed herb gardens, have a great view through the valley to the sea.




Arrangements are made to visit the Ulmo Winery at Sambuca di Sicilia which overlooks Lake Aracio. The 17th century farmhouse, about 30 minutes from Menfi, is the original home of the family and the business.




Planeta is one of Sicily’s largest wine producers producing two and a half million litres of wine per year. This winery produces all of their Alastro, Chardonnay and Cometa white wines as well as their new Nero d’Avola red wine, Plumbago.



Production of a sparkling white has just started and the bottles are stored in racks.

We taste some of their most popular wines.
Alastro: A fruity white made of 100% Grecanico grapes.
Cerasuolo: The only D.O.C.G wine to be awarded in Sicily – comes from the Vittorio winery
Syrah: An excellent red wine made from 100% syrah grapes and kept in oak for 12 months.
Burdese: This strong red is made with 70% cabernet savignon and 30% cabernet franc grapes and kept in oak for 12 months. This wine is one of the few wines that can be kept for up to 10 years.


We’re back in time for a quick Rose aperitivo before dinner of risotto with the ragusano cheese and a red wine (cerasuolo) reduction.

Their top wine, a Santa Cecilia, Nero d’Avola red from Noto, complements the main course of veal.

A taste of Planeta’s Passito di Noto made from 100% Moscato Bianco grapes, is a great finish to the day.

La Foresteria
Contrada Passo di Gurra
ex S.S 115 s.p. 79, Km 91
92013 Menfi
Tel: +39 0925 1955460
Planeta Estate- La Foresteria

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Constantly referred to as the best restaurant in Sicily, we have come to Licata, a small town on the southern coast of Sicily between Gela and Agrigento, just to eat here.

From the outside, you would not recognize this as a temple of gastronomy.


After ringing the bell, we are welcomed into a typical italian restaurant – the food is obviously the star here!
Choosing the ‘Creativo’ menu of 9 courses is the best way to try chef, Pino Cuttaia’s treats from his kitchen. When each course is bought to the table, the chef himself appears and tells us about the dish.

This is our lunch.

Cuttlefish involtini in cauliflower soup with artichoke chips and black cuttlefish powder- amazing!

Too pretty to eat- but I did! Anchovy in a thin red onion paste base topped with tomato hearts and slices of baby red onion.

The lightest ever buffalo mozzarella on a base of tomato infused bread and pesto sauce. I don’t know how Pino was able to get the mozzarella so light but it was a similar texture to a snow egg. Unbelievable!

Tiny baby octopus on a chick pea and rosemary puree

Raw tuna topped with cooked tuna, artichoke, tomato, beans and fennel slivers with a pepperoncino sauce and a red onion sauce

Home made pasta with a scampi sauce, raw scampi and artichoke puree.

Swordfish with roasted pepper, oil and sepia powder sauce with a fennel seed wafer

Lemon gelato with the lightest brioche

Torrone gelato with chocolate.

Cannolo with orange marmalade and marsala gelato.

An unbelievable lunch. Not to be missed!

La Madia Restaurant
Corso Filippo Re Capriate, 22
Tel: +39 0922 771443
La Madia

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