I just got into town and was looking for a lite dinner as I had a late lunch. Walking towards the gate to an outside bar I saw the sign for Wine Bar, down a sidewalk lit by candles I came across this Osteria! I said I was there for drinks and apps. They seated me at a table for 2. I asked the waitress for a rec on a white wine, she was more than happy to bring 3 bottles and after explaining each one , I picked one and it was great, refreshing and exactly what I was looking for after a long day of driving from Lecce, Puglia!
I asked to see the specials on the chalkboard and she quickly bought it over and was going over the antipasti, I stopped her at the crudo dish as she said it was very good! The wine went great with the raw tuna, shrimps, sepia! It was just the right amount and a very good value! Also, I was served bread, olives and olive oil that came from the same producer as the olives, which I thought was very cool!
After a couple more glasses of vino, I asked for the check. As Sarah I learned her name came with it she said she wanted me to taste something very special. A 2004 Benanti Etna Rosso. It was great! She said that is the wine maker with her mom at another table. I asked her if he does tastings at his vineyard as my wife is coming in tomorrow and we will be here for 3 more nights.
She asked and came back and said he would like to meet me.
Salvino sat down we talked wine, life in NJ, as he worked here for awhile and told me to email him to set up an appointment. As it turns out with Sarah's warm hospitality we had a great tasting and tour from their sommelier Valentina who worked in a restaurant in Siracusa and said we must go since we were headed there after Taormina, also she was working a wine tasting dinner at another Siracusa restaurant on the night of my birthday and said it was going to be really good with a couple of famous chefs from the area!
I took my wife to Osteria Rosso di Vini the next night and introduced her to Sarah and her sister Jackie. We only stayed for drinks as I made reservations elsewhere, which if I had to do again I would had cancelled and ate here back to back to back nights! I said we would be back Sunday for dinner! We both were blown away by this casual but professional Osteria! The wine Jackie chose for each course went with the fresh ingredients beautifully! I had the nero sepia pasta with ricci it turned out to be my BEST pasta of my 3.5 week trip! Also, for both of us it was one of the best meals and experiences of the trip. We always love off the beaten places where the locals would go and this place is a gem!
A special Grazie Mille to Sarah for offering me that wine from Benanti! As it opened so many doors for the rest of the trip! All the way to Marsala restaurants who were recommended by the Benanti twins!
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