Sometimes the best laid plans are the ones you make that morning, after Modica coffee, or inside a stunning Baroque cathedral. Not months prior while eating leftover General Tso’s Chicken. To Noto or Not to Noto was the question I’ve been wrestling with the most during planning. Decision was final, until Mrs Ziggy, suffering from a small case of ‘Fish called Wanda‘ syndrome, asked me time and again.. “why arent we going to Noto? Italian men with Italian accents are telling me I should go to Noto”. And so its back to To Noto. And while in beautiful but Baroque Disney Landish Noto, escaping the heat inside that stunning Cathedral (picture below), another thought crossed my mind. Instead of having lunch in Baroque Disney, we will have lunch at the old fishing village of Marzememi, 20 minutes away. Its been 36 hours since our last seafood meal, and my left arm is starting to twitch ever so slightly.
The old village of Marzamemi, a sleeping beauty, where once tuna was trapped and tortured by the numbers. One of the first and most important ‘Tonnaras’ on the island, though the practice is no more (Thanks Obama!). Today, two shirtless men collect two euros to watch your car, restaurants are lined up along the shore, and the old center is now as picturesque as fishing villages get. Surprisingly fairly quiet during the day, even in the high summer. Action picks up at night I was told by our host at Modica. And nice sandy beaches (a luxury on this island) are minutes away in San Lorenzo
But the highlight of the day, as often is the case in Italy, was lunch at Al Boccone. A huge deck overlooking the ocean, with an English speaking young waiter who really cared about our enjoyment. We found this common all over Sicily – owners, workers were grateful and humble that YOU chose THEM, and they are on a mission for you not to regret. An appetizer mix of local specialties including a fine smoked swordfish. Another assortment of cheese and salami was forgettable. Calamari Siciliano was a revelation of sorts, two huge squid stuffed with bread crumbs, more squid, pine nuts and more deliciousness, served in a stew like fashion with tomato and onions. Excellent fresh grilled Amberjack was like a more succulent swordfish. A Busiate-like Trofie (surprised to see Trofie pasta in the part) with tomatoes, basil, pistachio, big shrimp, little shrimp, medium shrimp (top picture) was well balanced and quite exceptional. The one dish I didn’t care for much was spaghetti with bottarga, which tasted incredibly strong after sampling the other dishes (tho oldest didnt mind so much). Fantastic lunch in a most picturesque village