Dad and I decided to drive up to see Etna yesterday, as it seems a thing to see when visiting the area. Along the way we found Zafferana Etna. It is a charming village with a sizable centro, some nice shops, a handful of restaurants, and a beautiful church (these are abundant here, but you already knew that). It was Sunday afternoon, and there was a lively festival in the town square. Being lunch time, and yes, it is always time for a least a little bite here, we stopped into the restaurant on the square to enjoy a light lunch. It was critical to go light because we had already made a reservation to return to Trattoria di Nino at 8pm and we were not going to miss that.
I used all my best Italian, la sua raccomandazione qualcosa de piccolo, and I repeated piccolo and smiled. She suggested the Bacco Anitipasti, a selection of regional cheeses, meats, olives, and a few vegetables. Ok? ok! ok? Si? ok! several exchanges of okay, and si small, she insisted. Okay, Dad and I agreed and ordered some local Chardonnay to enjoy with our piccolo pranzo. In this moment, I was feeling so proud of myself for using my Italian words and for showing a little restraint at just one meal. Well, that pride may have been a little in haste.
The dishes just kept coming! Cheeses, cured ham, mushrooms sautéed, stuffed eggplant, caponata, stuffed mushrooms, fried ricotta balls (oh my!), stuffed fried bread (a regional specialty, and quite amazing), zucchini at least three different ways, an onion salad with walnuts (not my favorite, but interesting), and of course bread...we laughed until we had tears, and ate until we were stuffed.
These are experiments, and some go better than others...we left smiling!
The restaurant is at the far end of the piazza near the fountain in town, called Il Castello di Bacco, and I highly recommend their hours antipasti for two;)