As is the case with just about any super touristy city, our best meal in Taormina was outside of the tourist path. Not only did it best the much more famous, highly anticipated dinner at Tischi Toschi (which wasnt even known by our hosts), but special Brownie Points are given for flat out curing me out of my misery. Ok, lets rewind this one to one of the biggest mistakes of the trip with this very important tip…
If you head to Taormina and wish to climb to Santuario Madonna della Rocca, which will seem fairly short according to Google, make sure its a) Not over 90 degrees, and b) The church is open! The only thing this tiring shadeless climb accomplished was slightly increase the radius of my bald spot. And no one warned me that the views from the top were not a whole lot more dramatic than the views from the quarter way up. An hour later, before munching on the excellent Da Cristina Arancini, the heat started to get to me. I even remember hallucinating, seeing a bar named Ziggy in the area, though my family still claims it was a real place. Do I cancel lunch plans? Never! The show must go on.
Taormina, for much of its recent history was a popular playground for the English aristocrats. Today, its still a major British hub, some of which make it their yearly summer destination. At L’Arco we had a nice chat with a British gentleman who vacations in Taormina every year for the past 17 years. He told us that L’Arco Dei Cappuccini, is one of his favorite seafood restaurants in Europe. That statement started to show more merit after he told us about his travels, and after the first few bites of that Octopus Carpaccio.
Its most likely the finest Octopus Carpaccio I ever had. They press octopus into this huge cube (the waiter brought one from the kitchen to show us), smoke it and slice it into this thin silky smooth mortadella like slices and drizzle with olive oil. Simply phenomenal! Fresh langoustine, crumbed with deliciousness and baked was sweet and succulent. More awesomeness from the Primis. Fresh tagliatelle with zucchini flowers and grouper tasted so light and heavenly. And more tagliatelle with tuna that tasted almost like sausage. An extremely enjoyable light lunch
And yes, felt much better after that. Maybe I needed a break, who knows, but this meal saved an otherwise lackluster afternoon. Until we got to Ortigia at least.