Sicilian campaign, Marsala, the islands of the lagoon and the sea. Beyond the blue, only the wonderful view of the Egadi Islands. Is’ faced with this scenario that the Sicilian chef Emanuele Russo, 33 years, He chose to open his own restaurant, with the idea of giving a personal touch and lightweight traditional dishes, taking advantage of local products and excellence from all over the island. The restaurant The Lumie, It takes its name from a small Sicilian lemon almost disappeared, was born in the family home, specially renovated: Here the chef is back after having embarked on the path of the kitchen just 13 years, and after several experiences in Italy (including television). The restaurant is in the hills, in contrada Fontanelle, about 6 km from Marsala. The whole family participates in the company of Emanuele: the mother Antonina and girlfriend are in the Hall and dad Savior garden care – strictly organic – contiguous to the local, from which most of the vegetables used in the kitchen: cabbage, Green beans, tomatoes, onions, Eggplant, Peppers and courgettes.
For a year, the chef introduced the tasting menu, that is the best way of understanding the kitchen: is one of the few chefs to offer it in the area. Today this formula is starting to build consensus, in an audience that is not yet accustomed to a guided, made of small portions and sometimes unusual combinations. What I would suggest is, instead, just the tasting menu where, at an affordable price (40 euros), You can taste different dishes clearly elegant and fun but made Sicilian array, lightened, revisited with great respect and care.
On the table, bread sticks and homemade rolls with yeast and an excellent local olive oil from the cultivar Nocellara. Three projected starters: Mazara del Vallo red prawns served strictly unflavoured and accompanied by simple crostini. And here, more than the skill of the chef cooking, stands out of course the excellent quality of the raw material, that is the real star of the kitchen of The Lumie, from local fish until the flesh of a black pig Nebrodi. Among the products the symbol used, the Nubia red garlic, the almonds of Avola, the piacentinu Ennese, Sicilian black bee honey, Modica chocolate, the pistachio.
Then a second appetizer: a nice combination of grilled Octopus, a creamy Buffalo mozzarella with lemon zest and fresh cherry tomatoes. Of the rest, the key Russian cuisine is strict adherence to seasonality, of raw materials and of Sicilian culinary tradition. And also why he decided to use the Slow food circuit products.
The caponata di pesce azzurro (third entrée) I really appreciated the decision not to use the Eggplant but replace them with fish, using the basic traditional caponata condiment (Capers, celery, onions, olives and tomato) and the indispensable bittersweet.
The tasting continued with the first plate: an original arancino di riso al nero d'Avola with mussels and tenerumi (the young leaves of Zucchini), served on a light tomato sauce and served with fried eggplant Peel. Crunchy bread coating, good cooking rice (Maybe some more’ more al dente wouldn't hurt), and overall very nice and balanced.
The other more traditional first course: handmade pasta (perfect cooking pasta) with amberjack to 60 degrees in oliocottura, Zucchini, Mint and cherry tomatoes. A dish of great simplicity where is enhanced the quality of locally caught fish.
In addition to tasting menu, I wanted to try a hand-up squid ink cous cous, topped off with the traditional broth and fish flesh, slightly spicy, and accompanied with sea urchins, that gives this dish a note salina particularly attractive.
As a main dish, a tonno in olive (the most noble) marinated with onion, mustard and Juniper, served on a bed of green beans “Snake”, that just before I had peeked in the garden of Papa Salvatore.
Especially the sweet: a semifreddo of figs in Marsala wine, with the note amarostica of caramel to balance the sugar content of Parfait. In a first approach, the bitterness I felt it was overkill, but in reality the mouth was cleaned and lightened by each cloying.
Among the wines tasted during the meal, the cellar Rosammare rosato Barraco, Vintage 2013. At the end of a meal, an amazing passito di Pantelleria “Bukkuram”, Father of the vineyard 2008, Marco De Bartoli's cellar, Marsala wine. Wine list predominantly Sicilian cutting, with a focus on organic and biodynamic producers. Decent selection of bubbles, especially metodo classico Franciacorta; You can also find carefully selected international labels. Great wine Marsala proposal from small and large cellars. If you choose to order the paper, You can sample appetizers ranging from 7 to 15 euros as raw gambero rosso di Mazara or tuna products, via Pantelleria salad with duck (8 euro) and tuna tartare with caper mayonnaise (12 euros). Among first to paper (12-15 euro) even Red Lobster raviolis, gnocchi with ragout of black pork and pasta and potatoes with bottarga. Among the second (12-15 euro), a balanced supply of meats (black pig with pistachios, veal with Marsala wine and chocolate) and fish (fillet of grouper in vine leaf, involtini di spada on fondue Piacentinu Ennese). Highly recommended.
(visited on August 24, 2016)