Palermo Postcard: Temptation by the Sea

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Temptation%20in%20Sferrocavallo.JPG Fish%20await%20the%20grill%20at%20Temptaton.JPG Neonata%20w%20spaghetti.JPG

It's a waterfront trattoria on the coast of Sicily, just outside Palermo, called Temptation. The name has no meaning but looks exotic to an italian eye, in the same way that "Tavolata" might to a diner in Seattle. What it offers is a non-stop, 90-minute orgy of fresh Mediterranean seafood with only one choice (the secondo, which doesn't signify "main course" but the dish that follows the pasta).

The interior is plain, the kitchen tiled, the service dizzyingly rapid. One wine, a white grecanico, though several tables drink orange soda. At 8 :30 PM, the place is still empty; at 9, every seat is taken. Appetizers arrive faster than the plates can be passed and shared: a fish pâté a carpaccio of swordfish dressed with olive oil, fried stuffed baby squid, fried baby fish called maccheronelli, rolled up herring, shrimp in a pink sauce, a salad of marinated octopus, steamed mussels.

grilled%20bream.jpgPasta next: penne with shrimp and calamari in a sauce perfumed with wild mountain fennel, a tasty risotto with pistacchio and shrimp, and a plate of spaghetti dressed only with neonata, a jelly-like mass of newborn fish.

Time for the secondo: grilled red mullet or sea bream or calamari; so many choices, we lost track. When you think you can't eat another bite, the plates are cleared and they bring an oversize shot glass of intense lemon sorbet. You will never eat another meal this close to the sea. Nor such value: all inclusive, about $30 per head.

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I'm so jealous I COULD CRY!!! Sounds like heaven.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on February 5, 2009 12:00 AM.

Postcard from Palermo: the Word on The Street was the previous entry in this blog.

Postcard from Palermo: United Colors of Panic is the next entry in this blog.

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  • David H: I'm so jealous I COULD CRY!!! Sounds like heaven. read more