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One Is the Loneliest, er, Most Privileged Number

a woman reading a book at a table

Since Germany has banned #foodporn, I figure I should get this post up before Italy follows suit. Last November I had the chance to pop over to Sicily for the weekend on a <$300 fare. While I was there I stayed at the most amazing hotel — Zash Country Boutique Hotel.

I was still stuffed to bursting after the “lunch” served during my wine tasting, but pulled myself together to go to dinner because how often am I staying 100 yards from a restaurant I can afford with a Michelin chef?

a room with a table and chairs

I made my way to the restaurant which is situated in the old wine chamber. There are only a dozen tables or so, if that, and I wound up being the only person dining alone. Not a big deal, as by now I’m used to it.

Waiter (in a carrying voice): A table just for ONE?

Me: Yes.

I sit down, look at the menu, and decide to splurge and do the 6 course tasting menu which is something like 85 euros. When the waiter comes back I place my order.

“I’m sorry, we usually only do a tasting menu for TWO people or more. Not for just ONE person. But I will go ask the chef.”

He was perfectly nice about it, just a little loud, and I noticed the other tables glancing over to see who was dining alone. And it made sense that the tasting menu might not be worth doing for just one diner.

The waiter came back “The chef has agreed, since it is for YOU, we do the tasting menu. Normally we don’t do it for ONE person, but for you we will.”

The kitchen had no idea who I was (not that I’m somebody anyway),  my guess is it was a slow night and they were willing to be nice. Then one of the owners, who was dining in the restaurant that night, came up and asked me if I wanted to have wine with my meal and then offered to put together pairings for meal. Did I mention how much I loved this place!?

At this point the other tables were openly looking at me trying to figure out who this special guest was. Ha!

And it turned out to be a marvelous meal. The chef’s modern interpretation of traditional Sicilian dishes and ingredients.

Starter: Fresh Tuna (in a can) paired with Etna Rosso rose.

a can of food on a table


A lovely Etna Bianco paired with delicious fried shrimp and rosemary breadsticks (apparently all previous fried shrimp I’ve ever had has been fried wrong!).

a glass of wine on a tablea basket of food on a table

Home made spaghetti with fresh tomatoes ( a take on another Italian dish I wasn’t familiar with) and paired with Etna Rosso.

a plate of food on a table

Gnocchi made entirely out of fresh ricotta! If only all gnocchi were like this…

a plate of food on a white plate

Pork marinated for 24 hours served with pickled peppers. (Good flavor, a little too fatty for my taste).

food on a plate

A gorgeously simple tiramisu.

a bowl of dessert with a spoon

A glass of Vin Santo, a delightfully rich flavored dessert wine made from grapes that had been dried for many weeks before pressing.a glass of wine on a table

More from this trip

JFK Flagship Lounge
American Airlines Economy JFK-MXP
Diplomatic Suite at the Sheraton Malpensa Airport
Getting from Malpensa to Linate Airport
Alitalia Economy LIN-CTA
You Get What You Pay for at the Sheraton Catania
Wine Tasting on Mount Etna
Charming Stay at Zash Country Boutique Hotel
A Day in Taormina

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