Friday 16 August 2013

Ristorante le Mimose, Via Tutti Santi, Castelmola, Sicily

Hard to find, Ristorante le Mimose is down the hill from Castelmola's main piazza. It can be quiet early evening, but its leafy outside terrace does provide a commanding view of the sweeping bay south of Taormina: You just need to ignore the concrete shell of a partially-finished building on an adjacent plot. Family run, Ristorante le Mimose combines a warm welcome with rustic home cooking. The elderly matriarch greets prospective diners enthusiastically and there may even be a chatty American lady on hand to help with translations. Packed with flavour, the antipasti misti includes aubergines, courgettes and other morsels drenched in olive oil. Another good bet is the big plate of mozzarella and chunky tomato slices. The presentation is a little rough, but the food is fresh and appetising. To follow, there is wide selection of pizzas (starting at 7 euros), pasta and other Italian staples. The pizza bases can be a little stodgy, but the toppings are very generous and tasty. If the kids leave half their pizza, the restaurant will wrap up the leftovers in foil. Among the other dishes, the seafood risotto (12 euros) is well seasoned and full of flavour, while the spaghetti carbonara (8 euros) is creamy and rich. Water is 2.5 euros for a big bottle and you can get a carafe of the cheap local wine, which is a bit sharp, for 5 euros. Given the exceptional view and competent cooking, Ristorante le Mimose is good value. 8/10