"Sono nelle tue mani"

"I am in your hands"

This is a  phrase used in many Sicilian restaurants which puts the entire meal to the discretion of the cook. The meals are extensive, wholesome, and often the best way to appreciate the cuisine as it was meant to be enjoyed. Its our favorite way to navigate a new dining experience, and we're really excited to share it with you.

With our 'sono nelle tue mani' tasting menu options, we do our best to replicate a proper Sicilian meal. All we ask of diners is that their whole table participate in the menu and that they have very few restrictions on what they eat.  Also, we strongly suggest that you come hungry.

The "in your hands" experience always begins with both hot and cold antipasti, making a total of six shared plates to start with.  From there we offer a few different variations depending on how many pastas and main courses are desired. You can elect to share a pizza if you prefer or go all the up to the $65 option which includes virtually the entire days menu and an Averna after the meal. So the next time you feel like celebrating, or if you just want to enjoy an exciting and relaxed Sicilian dining experience, consider putting your evening in our hands.

 

Our Olive Oil is Now Available

It's amazing the depth of flavor and complexity that can come from simply crushing olives. Pressed from 100% Nocellara del Belice olives harvested from and around the Sicilian town of Castelvetrano, the extra-virgin olive oil pressed for us by Sandro Montalbano at Frantoio di Campagna oil is, without a doubt, some of the very best we have ever tasted.

Established by Sandro in 1993, Frantoio di Campagna is shining example of a company making olive oil on a medium-to-large-scale in the right way. They only source the highest quality Nocellara del Belice olives from local, biodynamic growers. The olives are pressed within 48 hours of harvest, with the resulting oil kept in large underground stainless steel tanks.  While initially very "green" tasting, the olive oil changes gracefully from citrusy and bright to smooth and peppery. 

Through our friends at Tesori of Sicily we are lucky to receive enough of the yearly vintage to not only supply the restaurant but there's a little left over that we are excited to make available for you to take home as well. 

This oil is not available in your local grocery store, but we are proud to be able to sell 500ml bottles for $23. If you have ever wanted a special extra virgin olive oil for finishing a dish, or to simply enjoy with bread, then you should definitely add this to your pantry. 

The Antipasti with Many Names

At the restaurant we call them scaccia, although in various towns in Sicily you will see them sold as scacciata, focaccia ragusana, and scacce. They are all variants of a stuffed flatbread and ever since encountering them in and around Ragusa, they have become a dependable staple of our menu.

Despite the divisions in nomenclature, those who enjoy scaccia can usually be divided into two camps: proponents of leavened or non-leavened dough. Our initial forays into the dish were based on trips to Modica, in which the scaccia dough is made of durum flour, lemon juice, white wine, and olive oil. This mixture is put through a pasta sheeter or rolled out by hand into thin rectangular sheets. Alternatively, those in the leavened camp will argue that the dough should resemble that of pizza or focaccia, thereby containing yeast that will cause it to rise once baked.

Regardless of dough style, both versions begin as long, thin sheets similar to pasta. Traditional fillings include tomato, onion, and sausage, as well as local cheeses like caciocavallo or fresh ricotta.  At the restaurant, we have experimented with countless permutations of ingredients, from the aforementioned classics to fillings like smoked swordfish or prosciutto. Once filled, the two ends of the dough are folded towards the middle, and then the entire scaccia is folded in half, giving the cross-sections an intricate, swirled appearance. We bake these folded flatbreads for about fifteen minutes or until browned. After allowing them to cool, we slice them and reheat them for our hot antipasti selection, though they are delicious at room temperature as well.

The resulting flavors and texture of leavened versus unleavened scaccia doughs are noticeably different, enough so, even, to warrant the militant allegiance to one over the other. While the pizza-like dough has a soft interior beneath its crisp outside, the unleavened style remains almost like a pastry in its delicate texture. While the choice of which style is superior is ultimately up to the diner, we like to prepare it both ways, enjoying these scaccia for their own unique and delicious merits. 

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