Monday, April 6, 2009

I Left My Heart in A Putia Ro Vinu

I have never eaten as well as I did when I traveled to Brazil. The highlight of that trip was goat cheese lasagna, consumed on the veranda of a cliffside restaurant, Aprazivel, that jutted over the trees and boasted a stunning view of Rio de Janeiro. That meal ranked as one of the best of my life. This meal is another.

One evening in Sicily, our hired driver escorted us to Modica, home of the amazing chocolate shop I also raided during my stay. It's a small, beautiful town, and our driver parked on Corso Umberto I. He led us down a dark alley (which frankly freaked me out a bit) and turned the corner. Beautiful, narrow, dimly-lit cobblestone streets rose up before us. We followed our driver past dark buildings accented with beautiful architecture, countless staircases and shuttered doors and windows. Eventually, we arrived at our destination: A Putia Ro Vinu, a bright trattoria that seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

The entrance to the trattoria, "a putia ro vinu," on Via Carlo Pisacane in Modica. After climbing through those streets, it was like finding a treasure.

My sister somehow requested some sort of tasting menu without my knowledge, but it was the best thing she's ever done. The food would NOT stop coming. First up: bread with olive oil and hard-boiled eggs.

Next, we're served what appears to be a platter of appetizers that include roasted eggplant, deep-fried dough, arancini (deep-fried rice balls), sausage, quiche with peas and carrots, and some sort of stromboli-esque deal with lasagna inside.

This course included beef with hard-boiled egg somehow encircled by the meat. T said her grandmother used to make these, but I have no idea how one would go about doing such a thing.

Beef and sausage in pasta sauce.

A side of seasoned potatoes.

Spinach and ricotta pasta. This pasta was honestly the doughiest, most delicious pasta OF ALL TIME. It was so good, it was practically bread.

A combination platter: spinach and ricotta pasta, ravioli, and past with beans.

Sadly, I've forgotten the name and description of our dessert. It was cinnamon-flavored with a gelatin consistency, and it was, of course, delicious.


mwr said...

Replace beef with bread and you've got a staple of English breakfasts called "toad in the hole" that is often made at our house. I imagine the process involves either baking the whole thing, or cooking the meat almost entire first, ripping out a hole, and then cooking it a little more with an egg replacing the circle of cow. My question is, where does the circle go?

eLs said...

YES! That is a really important question to resolve! My idea about the whole thing involved halfway cooking the meat and then CREATING a hole within it to dump in the egg. Honestly, I'm really mystified by the whole thing. Mystified and SATISFIED.

CaseyMustPie said...

egg cup of beef

Acidian said...

Wow that looks really good.
Will be going to Modica in September.
Can you give me an idea of the prices of this trattoria? How much did it cost you per person approximately?

eLs said...

Hi Acidian,

I don't remember the exact prices, but what we paid was VERY reasonable for the amount of food we got. We couldn't even eat our entire meal! I believe we ordered some sort of prix fixe meal that included everything in the photos. Thanks for your comment, and I hope you enjoy Modica! It's absolutely breathtaking.