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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

PIZZA IN COUGAR TOWN

FRIGINTINI, Sicily

Spurred by a comment from Sofia, I’ve pushed a new Sicilian pizza post up in the schedule!

I wish they made pizza in the daytime here.

Just driving these roads - the Ragusa province’s white, round-topped stone walls and the olive and carob trees behind them - are enough to know this is stunning countryside.

Good luck finding Frigintini - I went pizza hunting with my pal Francesco who grew up one town away and we had to turn around two or three times before finding the town and restaurant, Le Magnolie. I realize the place is in such a small town that to survive, it’s gotta consistently pull people in from the neighboring towns.

Inside, there’s nothing to indicate how they do that other than the ever growing herd of locals wearing those peculiar clothes that make their way down here, often leaving grown women dressing like 16 year olds for lack of options. Welcome to southern Sicily’s Cougar Town.

Nevertheless, the menu is dressed to impress. They’re serving coral colored mushrooms pulled from carob trees and on this day there’s a whole prix fixe menu based around the fungi. We’re here for the pizza, as it’s rumored to give Ristorante - Pizzeria Caravanserraglio (a.k.a. Pizza Nove) and Modica’s Il Contea (Pizza Otto) a run for their money.

F. and I split an order of the mushrooms, stew-like and wonderful, but the real star is the dense bread next to it. Drizzled with a bit of olive oil and downed with a sip of local beer, there’s a wonderful flavor of almonds that fills my mouth.

“I’ll be that’s from the oven,” says F., “They’ll use almond branches to fire it.”

I plow into the combination like there’s no tomorrow.

Pizza arrives - one proscuitto and rocket and one margherita - and we go quiet, shift gears and tuck in.

The proscuitto alone is worth the trip. Generously layered on and contrasted with the in-season rocket’s fiery snap, the combination is divine. This is destination pie.

“Let me tell you what you’re thinking,” says F.

I look up, remembering he’s there and nod.

“Otto punto cinque.”

Eight point five, indeed.


Ristorante Le Magnolie di Macauda Emanuela - MAP

Via Gianforma n.179
Frigintini Modica
+39 0932908136
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
www.ristorantelemagnolie.it

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