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Carletini: Agriturismo Tenuta di Roccadia


Closing day: None

Reviewed by: MariaV from Sicily, review #1093

When: 2004

This is basic country down-home Sicilian cooking at its best. All foods are grown on premises and nearly the best I've had. Even Sicilians go again and again.

Directions: Autostrada Catania-Siracusa south; there are many ways to get there, however, easiest is to travel south until the large hill of the autostrada. Approx. 2 km later will be a large gas station on the right, 1 km after the station is the turn for Brucoli. Exit and then take a left for Carlentini. Precisely 8 km the road will "T" -- turn to the right and the agriturismo is 1/4 of a km on the left.

I absolutely love this place. It's situated in the hills and the views are spectacular. They have a website at Roccadia

Service is friendly and you are treated as one of the family. All foods served here are grown on-premises and made fresh each day, including fresh ricotta that is so fresh that it is still warm! As they are an agriturismo, they are open daily year-round, and serve lunch and dinner. I am sure they serve a breakfast as well, although I don't know the extent of it. Meals are a set price and a set menu. I have not been for lunch, however I have been for dinner frequently, with both small groups of six, and up to groups of 25. There are three pricing levels as follows: 13 for antipasti, wine (local, which is wonderful and unlimited), water (unlimited) and dessert; 15-16 if you add the primo (pasta, which varies); and 20 if you add the secondo (meat), which also varies. The meat dish will include a salad or potatoes, and sometimes can be a mixed grill (beef, veal, pork, sausage). Also included in all levels are three types of "cello" (Sicilian limoncello, mandarello and an orange or almond cello); all made on premises as well. All foods are unlimited, and they always ask if you'd like more of anything.

Foods are served "family style" and are brought out on large platters. The antipasti generally consists of a minimum of eight differing varieties, depending on the season. There are (all made in-house) breads, slices of foccacia/panini with cheeses and vegetables, fresh ricotta and baked fresh ricotta, platters of 4 or 5 local mushrooms sauteed, a couple varieties of olives, three or four different cheeses, eggplant, a dish resembling rice balls but made with risotto and a vegetable, and many others depending on the season. During the winter cauliflower is used and made in at least three different ways. I don't generally like cauliflower but I loved it here.

The pasta and meat dish vary, and I have always found them to my liking. Dessert is a taste sensation that always brings a smile. Sometimes, depending on the season, there will be cookies and sweets -- the best is the sweet ricotta pastry whipped to perfection and placed in a pastry shell. Every time I have been, except for once, they have served this dessert.

I have had returning guests request to return to this agriturismo for dinner, and many people who have not liked certain foods (for example, cauliflower or ricotta or eggplant) in other countries have walked away with a new liking for said food. I recommend this agriturismo restaurant highly to anyone wishing to truly experience Sicilian food and hospitality at its absolute best.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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