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Cefalu: Ristorante La Brace

Via XXV Novembre, 10 , Phone: 0921.423570

Reviewed by: willit from UK, review #1543

When: 2005

Excellent food and service, very friendly staff. Highly recommended.

This restaurant came highly rated in more than one guide book, so I was looking forward to trying it. I was not disappointed. The restaurant is quite small, and we were lucky to get a table without booking.

To start, I had mixed antipasti: Grilled aubergine with balsamic vinegar, caponata, various salami and cheeses. My beloved ate aubergines stuffed with tagliatelle in a tomato and cheese sauce. Both starters were excellent.

As main courses, Jenny had Involtini alla siciliana - beef stuffed with breadcrumbs, pine nuts and raisins, then skewered and grilled. These were very good. I had a fillet of fish - I believe it was Caponi, but could be be wrong about the spelling. It was good, but did not quite reach the high standard of the rest of the food. Being aubergine addicts, we had the grilled aubergine as an accompaniment.

With two large beers, half a litre of local red, half a litre of water and two coffees, the bill came to €48.

Reviewed by: Colleen from CA (moderator), review #1241

When: 2005

Delicious food, wonderful atmosphere, excellent service.

This lovely restaurant is located in the historic center of Cefalů near the Duomo. There are 8-10 tables and a small Art Nouveau-style bar area; it feels larger than it really is because of a mirror lined wall. Good jazz music was playing in the background.

The menu was nicely varied, which made it hard to choose what to order! (See website for menu.) We started with a shared order of the antipasti rustica Siciliani. It was just okay; nothing memorable. I had the pesto Genovese - now, that was excellent! Shannon was compelled to order the chili ... when was the last time you saw that on a menu in Italy?? It turned out to be really, really good.

Thea, the owner, was very sweet, warm and friendly. Our waitress was also great. At the beginning of the meal I'd asked about the "casatta" on the menu - I'd never had it and was curious. She explained vaguely that it was gelato, sliced. Hmmm...

At the end of the meal she asked if we wanted dessert, then smiled and said, "Casatta?" So, of course, I had to try it. Their version turned out to be pistachio, vanilla, and chocolate gelato; a fat layer of each flavor melded to the other, then sliced and topped with a cherry. Kind of like the Neapolitan ice cream I ate when I was young.

Dinner was reasonable - about €20/person - including house wine, mineral water, and after-dinner grappa and limoncello.

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

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