Hurrah, finally we had a meal at a restaurant I had been trying to get into for days, L’Arco dei Cappuccini on via Cappuccini, a small street tucked around the corner from the city gate of Taormina, Sicily.
It was my sister Susie’s actual birthday and due to a series of events mostly surrounding my three year old nephew Sam’s bad behaviour, Mum, Dad, Zorba, Susie and I went out for dinner. Ben took a hit for the team and stayed home with the kids :(.
The restaurant was set in a small outdoor courtyard with its high walls covered in climbing vines. Carmelo was one of our friendly waiters and when he explained to Dad that there weren’t any beers large bottles of beer, much to Dad’s verbalised disappointment, Carmelo responded in Italian, “It’s not the end of the world, just drink two small ones!” I thought that was brilliant!
For antipasti, Susie and I both had Tuna Tartar, raw tuna with lemon juice. It was fresh, meaty yet tender and amazing.
Zorba had the white bait which consisted of hundreds of tiny fish formed into fish cakes and fried crispy on the outside. They were crisp, salty in a moorish way, and sensational.
Mum and Dad both had marinated anchovies and they were so delicate and so, so delicious. Before you screw your face up, the marinated anchovies are little slivers of white fish marinated in a olive oil, lemon juice and a touch of vinegar. They are seriously good and do not resemble anything like the ‘hairy fish’ on pizza that we think of in Australia when anchovies are mentioned.
For main course, our friendly and funny waiter Carmelo showed us the fresh fish that was available. The sea bass looked so fresh and when he described that it would be cooked with a Sicilian sauce of tomatoes, capers and olives, I was sold. No one else wanted any, so I pretty much had the whole fish to myself. It was a bit too much for me to finish – but never fear, the Greek was near! Zorba enjoyed helping me finish it off. Yum yum yum!!
Zorba had home made fresh pasta with tuna and he thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that he wolfed it down fast and I didn’t even get a taste!
Susie, Mum and Dad all had linguine alla vongole – linguine with a clam / pippis. They ooh and ahhed with every mouthful.
We can thank Antonia our land lady for the restaurant recommendation. Zorba and I tried to get in on Tuesday night but the restaurant was fully booked. On Wednesday we went back to make a reservation, but it was closed. While we were trying to figure out if the restaurant was indeed closed or if we were too early, we met a couple of Scandanavian boys who were also trying to make a reservation. They said that they had eaten there once before and the food was phenomenal and there were no tourists in the place, only Italians. This only made me more determined to experience a meal there and I’m so glad we did. It was fantastically fabulous. From the friendly chatty service, the intimate garden courtyard setting, to the unforgettable food, it is worthy of its Bortoletto holiday title of ‘The meal of Sicily’.
L’Arco dei Cappuccini
Via Cappuccini, 1, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Tel: +39 0942 24893