La Madia

Pino Cuttaia
Country: Italia
City: Licata
Address: Corso F. Re Capriata 22
(+39) 0922 771443
Closed: Tuesday and Sunday evenings
Price: 80 €
Tasting menu:: 95 €

Pino Cuttaia tells the story of his land and of the real spirit of the Gattopardo, by the famous Sicilian writer Tomasi di Lampedusa. He is proud of his land and in love with an island that, despite of being full of contradictions, is thankful regarding the sun, the sea and the land, which offer raw materials that have an own soul and transmit passion and feelings. This is the passion Pino Cuttaia reinvents his cuisine with; a fusion of dishes and ingredients from the Sicilian tradition, like the rice arancino or the aubergine involtino, recreated and accompanied with red mullets and wild fennel, and funnily wrapped with crunchy pasta threads, respectively. The new proposals arrive with the battutino of anchovies, previously marinated into salty water and seasoned with squid ink and tuna bottarga mayonnaise. Or with the hake, smoked together with pineapple and sprinkled with tomato sauce; a souvenir from the childhood -as he says-, when his mother used this sauce to disguise the meat that had been left over after the previous meal. The highest moment of his cuisine appears through his Sapore di mare sapore di sale (Sea flavours, salt flavours), a mixture of clams and sea urchins served with an almonds sauce; a taste in the mouth that transmits unique emotions, mixing perfectly the most tasteful seafood with the sweetness of the almond. This almond sauce is also used to marinade the raviolo alla trapanese (a mixture of chopped fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and local extra virgin olive oil) in order to reinvent a typical dish from the area.
When the tuna belly gets to the table onto a bed of burning almond charcoal, you think you had never tasted the maximal expression of tuna before that, in a sea where the Mediterranean red tuna has always been a delight for the Sicilian palates.
The people who think Sicily is only related to the sea will change their mind when they taste the beef tenderloin proposed with oil of its ash; simple, but unforgettably tasty. Pino Cuttaia lives in a coastal city ruined by the buildings that have been raised without the corresponding licenses, which contrast with the utter expression of the land cuisine offered in the valley of Greek temples (40 km distance) you cannot even see in Athens. This is Sicily; the best, the most beautiful, in the middle of a world of human disasters.
The lucky person who "falls into" this place will feel the human warmth of a cook who is, above all, a human being. A human being who offers you a bottle of is own tomato sauce to thank you for the visit, which might have supposed two hours drive from Palermo. Deep emotions in a land of contrasts that Pino Cuttaia’s cuisine exalts at its highest level.