Sunday 25 August 2013

Taverna Nicastro, Via S. Antonino, Modica, Sicily

With tables laid out on the steps of a quiet road high up in Modica, Taverna Nicastro is well away from the main tourist sights of this fine old town. But it is worth hunting down, as the food is authentic and the service is friendly and helpful - the waiters may even show you ingredients they can't translate. The antipasti of the house (8 euros), which includes cured ham, cheeses, lasagne with ricotta and four fried rice balls containing meat and egg, is fresh and tasty, as is the grilled vegetable antipasti (6 euros), featuring spicy sun-dried tomato, aubergine drizzled in olive oil and marinated onions. The concise menu might also offer some peppery, fennel sausages, served with fried potatoes (about 8 euros). It's pretty good, but the flavours might be too strong for kids. Another decent dish is the pasta with ricotta, in a chilli and sausage sauce (8 euros). Better still, is the rabbit stew with olives, capers, fried potatoes, tomatoes and carrots. There are some bones, but the flavours make a delicious combination and it's a fine dish for eight euros.  You can get a half-litre carafe of harsh red wine for five euros or dip into the more pricey wine list.  Although Taverna Nicastro feels like a neighbourhood restaurant, it has made it into the Rough Guide to Italy. Still, its location means it doesn't get particularly busy even on a Saturday night in August. 8/10