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Pesce Fresco

I knew coming to Sicily we would be having some great seafood. What I didn’t realize was how much we would have at one place!

Ristorante al Monaco. Victor’s maternal family name is Monaco – like the country he should own.  And it was like dining with family with platter after platter of some of the finest seafood I have ever in my life consumed. And I’ve eaten a bit of fish in my life.

I’m not going to even remotely do justice to this feast – but I shall give it that ol’ college try.

The first thing we had was an Octopus Salad. Fresh. Refreshing. Light and delicate. Flavors and textures that just blended so naturally together.

Oysters on the half-shell. The most tender, succulent oysters I’ve ever had. Rich and sweet – not rubbery or chewy – the most delicate texture. I didnt put a thing on them – no lemon, no nothing. Adding anything would have been sacrilegious.

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A fried fish, calamari, potato, carrots, and whatever whitefish dish. Can’t quite describe it, but I wanted more and more. One of those things I’d love to be able to replicate, but I was having too much fun eating it to pay attention to what it was I was eating. Like a roasted vegetable, garlic – but not a lot of garlic – seafood mash-up that kinda knocked my socks off.

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Shrimp No BP Oil Spill here. Fresh. Succulent. I’m running out of adjectives. It’s difficult to describe just how sublime they were.

Anchovies. OMG Anchovies.I seriously have never had a sweet – not salty – anchovy in my life. Pop into your mouth and pull off the bone. These were definitely not your pizzeria anchovies. I would eat these every day for the rest of my life. They didn’t even begin to resemble their canned or jarred relation of the same name. OMG.

Fried Calamari. These were not your typical fried rubber bands. The perfect bite and chew. Tender. Delicate. Words I’m going to keep using over and over and over. No sauces, no nothing. They spoke for themselves.

Squid Ink Arancini! Okay. We’ve made arancini for years. Never like this. And we have squid ink at home. This is definitely one we can make.

Mussels in a tomato sauce. Again. I’ve had mussels all my adult life. Never this good. Served in more of a tomato broth than a sauce, it was secondary to the sweetest, most tender mussels I have ever eaten I was going to say “in my life” and realized I’ve already said that. A lot.

I’s difficult to rave and gush over something like this. The words just start failing me. And words never fail me.

And then the pasta arrived. Fresh pasta. This stuff didn’t come out of a Barilla box. Cavatelli in a simple clam sauce.  Clams, wine, a drizzle of olive oil. When you start with great ingredients, you don’t need to cover anything up.

And then came the mixed grill…

San Pietro, shrimp, swordfish, and something else that I never learnd its name. How many times have I said sublime, best I’ve ever eaten in my life, fabulous, fantastic, and OMG?!?

Not enough times, because nothing I can say will bring justice to the meal we had, today.

It was seriously that good. I may never get to eat there, again, but i can die happy, knowing I’ve had some of the best seafood on the planet.

Oh. And it all cost 25 Euro per person – with unlimited liters of wine.

 

 

 

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