Thursday, February 25, 2010

Trattoria La Foglia, Ortigia, Siracusa

We were hungry after all that walking.  Ortigia, with its plentiful restaurants, was the perfect place to stop.  Unfortunately, many of the recommended restaurants that we found online were closed on Sundays.  We wandered around and found the Trattoria La Foglia on a side street.  S had a vague memory of having eaten here once.

The restaurant is decorated in a charming and eclectic way with antique furniture, handmade linens and mismatched plates and glasses.  I would've called it an elegant shabby chic style.  S simply described it as 'messy'.  haha.


I ordered the sarde beccafico which came with a side of caponata which I absolutely adored.  Caponata is a Sicilian dish using eggplant, red peppers, capers and celery, and depending on the local variation, pine nuts and raisins, in a sweet and sour sauce.  The owner explained that the eggplant is first deep-fried.  Ah hah!  No wonder it tasted so good.  Aren't all things deep-fried? 

The sarde beccafico is also another typical Sicilian dish, where sardines are filled with breadcrumbs, pine nuts, breadcrumbs and sometimes raisins.  Some lemon juice and sugar give it a sour-sweet taste.  Of course, there are variations depending on which part of Sicily you're in.  The rendition here, in my mind, paled in comparison to the version I had on the island of Favignana two summers ago.


S had the pasta con le sarde or pasta with sardines, which in Sicilian style is prepared with sardines, fennel, pinenuts and breadcrumbs.  It was good, but not as good as S remembered. 


We finished the meal with homemade desserts.  Their granita with mandarini was fabulous with bright citrus flavors.  I had the torta della ricotta wich was really good as well.  The bill came up to around 50 euro which was rather pricey for what we had (no wine), but Ortigia itself seemed like an expensive/touristy area.  The family-owned restaurant had character though.  The owner was rather eccentric and at times brusque, while his wife was really soft-spoken and sweet.  Their daughter is the cook in the kitchen.

Trattoria La Foglia
Via Giuseppe Maria Capodieci 21
96100 Siracusa

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