Reviews: MODI, One (Bella) surprise mediterranea in Torregrotta

Joseph Galea has never thought of going away from Torregrotta, where is born. Indeed, He believed deeply in the resources of the territory and the possibility to fulfill his restaurant in a place that no one could define ' touristic ', Despite its proximity to Milazzo and the Aeolian Islands. So this young chef of 27 years, together with the equally young wife Alexandra Quattrocchi, Today the restaurant guide MODI, a local who opened its doors in 2011 (just 21 years) And that, by March 2017, has found its permanent location in a modern villa just outside Torregrotta, with a large terrace overlooking the sea and the Islands. For me, I know Torregrotta and its surroundings, and I know the offer of local restaurants, well done, quality but definitely rustica, or focused on wedding receptions and catering, find a restaurant with the size and sophistication of Modi was a surprise. A graduate of the Institute of tourism and the hotel business, today, Galea is also Treasurer of the Association Chefs Messina. The first word that comes to mind to style in the restaurant kitchen MODI is “clean”, because without excess and no frills, Lightweight, It is based firmly on the Sicilian tradition and the use of local raw materials, the chef adds a touch of personality that makes an original dish.

The restaurant has about 40 covered, that are the same in both winter and summer, Despite the terrace allows you to double the places. In the kitchen, In addition to the chef, There are two people while the room is entrusted to the young Alessandra courtesy stops, sommelier Ais. Modì restaurant menu changes with the seasons and only six starters, six starters and six seconds, plus some specials that chef Gale improvise with what new and fresh on the market. For almost all it is a seafood menu, with small meat and vegetarian suggestions. The value for money is certainly very beneficial, the portions are generous but served in a stylish manner. The cost of the starters is between 10 and 13 euros, one of the first between 10 and 13 euros, that is between 10 and 18 euros. Sweets between 5 and 6 euro. The customer can also choose between three tasting menu, served for at least two people: the first (Island flavors) consists of six servings of fish (including raw seafood) and costs 40 euros; the second (scents of Sicily) consists of 9 flow rates (of meat and fish) at 60 euros; the third is a tasting of five dishes of your choice from the paper, at a cost of 50 euros.

The décor is simple and gaunt, with beautiful walls dominated by white and taupe. Modern and minimal tables are lit by pendant lights. Few white ceramics to soften the environment, also because the real protagonists of the room are the large Windows (with beautiful wood joinery) overlooking the terrace making filter the unmistakable light of Sicilian sky. Customer care begins with a tasting of extra virgin olive oil, Biancolilla of company Val Favara Paradise (Agrigento) and with the cornmeal breadsticks Tumminia homemade. The bread is, Instead, Modì restaurant provided by an external and bakery is the only element that is not prepared in. Among the starters, I chose the raw fish (13 euros): squid julienne, Red prawns of Mazara del Vallo, swordfish with candied orange, fish dolphinfish (Capone) with white peach and amberjack carpaccio. The raw is accompanied by salt of Motya and extra virgin olive oil.

I also tasted a delicious red prawn of Mazara del Vallo, marinated in rum and served with Green Apple and mojito granita: beautiful presentation, perfect combination between acidity of green apple crisp, the freshness of the slush and the hint of rum vaporized on the plate at time of service. Definitely a dish so fresh and very centered for the summer season.

Then I tried the mosaic of sea (13 euros), varied and tasty: nine small hot and cold seafood morsels that the chef prepares daily. In this dish are samples of traditional mold, as the octopus salad, the mussels, fish balls, the sarda allinguata (breaded and deep fried), But even the most creative whims such as breaded in coconut rapé croaker (scale armor), a squid salad with pesto, a tartlet of Zucchini with red shrimp, a cannoli of bread with aubergine and blue fish.

Among the first courses, I ordered one of the dishes chef Geraci historians: the goodies fresh pasta with Eggplant, ricotta cream and prawns (12 euros). A plate always in paper, Although with different fillings depending on the season: six stuffed ravioli, served on a shrimp bisque, made with a sheet of fresh egg pasta, cooked al dente and flavorful. Persistent and pleasant the stuffing of Eggplant and salted ricotta and engaging with the prawns just blanched.

Yet, I tasted a mixed of Gragnano pasta into soup of fish and shellfish (12 euros). A very generous portion, even a little’ excessive, but definitely yummy for flavor and balance of flavors, which tend to be sweet but finely tuned. The dough was risotto made inside the soup, that took a creamy consistency, with rich pieces of chopped fish and shrimp. Knowing the difficulties of cooking mixed, that contains the formats would benefit from different cooking methods, I would have preferred, however, a slightly more al dente pasta. In addition to fresh homemade pasta, Modì restaurant uses only two types of Sicilian pasta, signed by pastificio Square (Moio Alcantara) or from pastificio Field (Erice, Trapani).

Seeing it on paper I also found a risotto, I wanted to test the chef on one of the dishes that are crucial for any self-respecting kitchen. Then I tasted the carnaroli “Pilavecia”, with caciocavallo ragusano Dop, amberjack, lemon and pink pepper (12 euros). Truly a well-executed risotto, the wave, with perfect cooking times, accompanied by a nice hint of lemon, not to overpower the delicacy of raw Yellowtail. Fatty and acidic balance plate, with lemon that cupping the fat caciocavallo. Personally, I don't like the pink pepper, but I loved this dish.

Among the main courses, I tried a second of the day and a second of meat. Great fish fillets (fish capone), with caramelized onions, Mint and orange sauce (14 euros). It is a variation of a Sicilian dish (the fish with the cipuddata), that is a good expression in the combination of citrus taste of oranges and the sweet onion sauce. Perfect cooking of Dolphin fish, with crispy skin and soft inside and pink, to the heart.

Good, Although definitely in the wake of traditional cuisine, the Nebrodi black pork tenderloin with herbs, glazed black bee honey of monti Nebrodi, hazelnuts and a balsamic vinegar reduction. I liked the slight note of honey, able to exalt the pork.

We close with sweets, made everyone in the House (5-6 euro). Also in this case the card allows you to choose from six case stories. Predominantly flat cakes. I tried a Apple Pie, accompanied by vanilla ice cream and white chocolate sauce. A classic, well executed, Surely that satisfies the palate but without surprise.

Then a great icecream to Malvasia delle Lipari, with land of snack homemade (a cookie typically Sicilian almonds) and capers of Salina marshmallows. Really good ice cream, creamy and intense flavor of Malvasia, served at the right temperature. Pleasant pairing with spicy snack homemade crumbs, and with the note still tasty, Despite candying, Capers. One dessert that I would eat it again.

Good (but definitely be revised as regards the portion, too filling after a meal) the cream cheese, with wafer by cannolo, cinnamon and bitter orange gel. This is one of the many variations, and decompositions, of Sicilian cannolo. Crunchy, not greasy, but a little’ too thick rind cannoli; the cream cheese concoction that I imagine could be much richer flavors in autumn and not at the beginning of September. I found very interesting pairing with bitter oranges. Closing with lemon and espresso cookies, offered by the chef.

Wine list predominantly Sicilian style, with some good Italian label, with high average mark-ups. Great selection of liqueurs and sweet wines and passiti. The price paid for the meal is definitely lighter for the quality of food came to the table. The service is courteous and accurate, the dishes are explained very well, great detail on ingredients and cooking techniques. A secure address for guests visiting Messina.

(visit September 2017)

MODI
via Barasa – Contrada Maddalena
Torregrotta (Messina)
phone: 345 092 8345

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