On Thursday evening, we went with a friend for a meal. She is vegetarian so it is always nice when she chooses the restaurant because if there is a poor veggie choice on the menu I don´t have to feel guilty! She had spotted a new restaurant opposite the apartment where a friend of hers was staying in Los Cristianos and while all of us had eaten Italian many times in the past, none of us had tried Sicilian.
We arrived around 8.45 and a few tables outside had guests but we opted to sit indoors. It was only when we were seated that I realised I hadn´t brought my camera so all the photos are taken with OH’s phone. OK but could be a bit sharper.
It was a typical family restaurant decorated with Venetian masks and decorative wall plates. The staff included a chef, the owner who we also saw cooking and waiting on tables and his daughter.
Fortunately our friend speaks several languages including Italian which was really useful in explaining the hand written menu which was in Italian, so-so Spanish and pigeon English. I am sure this will be easier once it is typed but the restaurant has only been open a few months and there are probably other priorities.
We were told that there is virtually no difference between Italian and Sicilian food other than the odd speciality and that we could choose whatever was on the menu and mix and match. We chose as a starter mussels with orange, kingsize prawns and garlic bread that came in a bouillabaisse type soup. It was delicious and I could have forgone the main course and had a second serving of this.
The menu was huge it included plenty of meat and fish but as all of the pasta is made on the premises we opted for that. Friend chose the stringozzi with shellfish, OH chose tagliatelle with ham and cream, as usual, I sampled both and they were excellent. I went for the gnocchi with gorgonzola and while it was very good, it was rather heavy so I am sure I could have made a better choice.
Puddings are not normally my thing, but the panne-cotta was delicious and although OH had ordered the Cassata Siciliana we ended up doing a swap halfway through. The pudding had all the main ingredients of a classic cassata, sponge cake filled with ricotta and soaked in a honey syrup, it was fragrant with cinnamon and just a hint of vanilla but it wasn´t covered in fruits or icing. Mouth-wateringly delicious so next time I go, it is starter and pudding only!
When it came to paying we offered our card and the owner shrugged his shoulders as he tried to process the bill. He had a long list of failure receipts as there was somthing wrong with his telephone connection to the processing unit. We had almost the right amount of cash – €60 our bill was €69 including 2 glasses of red wine and soft drinks, but he insisted that we come back tomorrow rather than leave ourselves without cash. I can´t imagine many restauranteurs being so trusting and wondered what would have happened if we had been tourists that were leaving early the following day.
We returned on Friday afternoon to pay our bill and he looked extremely happy to see us, we joked about doing a ‘runner’ and he joked about the car with Italian number plates that had been following us!! I just hope that everyone else who ate at the Ciuri Ciuri on Thursday returned to pay for their meals as it would be such a shame to see a lovely restaurant with helpful staff go out of business because they were too trusting.