The Taste of Ortigia

The small Baroque island of Ortigia, the historic center of Syracuse, is widely considered one of the most beautiful destinations in Sicily. Inhabited for over 3,000 years and renowned for its Greek heritage, it is a UNESCO landmark for its “remarkable testimony of the Mediterranean cultures over the centuries” and makes for a perfect weekend escape in any season. Dotted with impressive church facades, outdoor restaurants, elegant piazzas and surrounded by a crystalline sea, Ortigia is more manicured than Catania, less overrun that Taormina and as delicious as Palermo. Once on the island, you should make the bustling Mercato di Ortigia your first and most important stop. It’s filled with colorful fruit, vegetable stands, fish vendors and stalls selling spices of all types. Be sure to pick up a few local specialties for your pantry, including pistachios from Bronte, almonds from Avola, sun-dried tomatoes from Pachino and capers from Pantelleria. Then grab a bite to eat at Fratelli Burgio, a buzzing deli and wine bar that assembles mouthwatering meat and cheese boards, fish platters and sandwiches stuffed with marinated vegetables. And of course, eat the oysters! After all that goodness, we strolled around the place, enjoying the gorgeous Ortigian views…

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.
Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!

NET-A-PORTER Limited

Il Consiglio Di Sicilia (& Donnalucata)

The story of Il Consiglio di Sicilia is made of three keywords: love, hospitality and happiness. Top-quality ingredients – local seafood from the Donnalucata port being their speciality – are presented on the plate straightforwardly: a style that inherently talks of the territory, beyond the trends of the moment. At the helm of the restaurant, there is a caring and sparkling couple. In the kitchen, chef Antonio Cicero prepares refined dishes, without pretension, but with great love for details. In the dining room, the charming Roberta Corradin welcomes everyone with a smile and offers knowledgeable guidance to her guests. This unique restaurant is a wholesome, heavenly experience. Eating their signature red prawn feels like that restaurant scene from Luca Guadagnino’s “I Am Love” with Tilda Swinton. The busiata pasta with anchovies is a recipe dating back to Ancient Rome. The cannolo is different level. And just on the side of the outdoor terrace you’ve got a chic selection of cashmeres and Italian accessories from Nel Garage boutique (more on it in the upcoming Ragusa post!). Don’t forget to visit Il Consiglio di Sicilia’s highly-curated wine enoteca, which is on the same street!

Via Casmene 79 / Donnalucata

And here are a few pics from the lovely day we’ve spent at the Donnalucata beach…

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.
Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!

NET-A-PORTER Limited

My Summer Wine… Tastes Like Vivanterre

My summer wine… tastes like the Vivanterre wine! September is in full swing, yes, so why not induldge your taste buds with a good sip of a sun-drenched delight? The Orange Contact SGS is exactly that. But first, about the company: Vivanterre is a natural wine produced in the Auvergne region of France by Patrick Bouju and Justine Loiseau, and founded by Rosie and Max Assoulin, with the support of renowned sommelier Cedric Nicaise. Using organically and biodynamically farmed grapes, vinified using natural processes, and untouched by any fining, filtering, or added sulfites, Vivanterre reflects the “Living Earth” from which it comes. Introduced by mutual friends, the Vivanterre team – the new-wave wine-makers! – came together with the intention to create a delicious natural wine using sustainable practices. The collaborative spans the creative worlds, with a mix of wine experts and novices, who came together to create a wine that is truly a product of shared perspectives.

This time, I’ve tried the amazingly refreshing Orange Contact. It’s a heavenly blend of Gewurztraminer, Sylvaner and Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes come from the Touraine-Oisly sub-appellation of the Loire Valley, from a vineyard managed by Benjamin Delobel. The vineyard started organic conversion in 2013. The grapes come from 60-year-old vines planted in sandy soils that are rich in minerals with calcium, flint and clay. They were destemmed and saw three weeks of maceration with pigeage, aged in stainless steel. Meanwhile, the Gewurztraminer grapes come from the village of Heiligenstein in Alsace and are picked from 35-year-old vines, planted on clay and blue slate. The whole clusters were then placed directly into stainless steel vats for two weeks of skin maceration, foot trodden, then racked into amphorae. The vineyards are farmed by the Goepp Family. The Sylvaner grapes also come from Alsace, from a vineyard located in the village of Rosheim, that is rich in limestone, with 60-year-old vines. The Sylvaner comes from the vineyards of the Dreyer Family. The Sylvaner grapes were pressed, and the juice was added to the Gewurztraminer, which was macerating on its skins. There was no fining, filtering, or SO2 added during any phase of winemaking. Wines were aged until May 2021, when blending took place, just before bottling. The harvesting, wine making, and elevage was done by Bouju and Loiseau.

There are three more blends available – White MSM, White Petnat PRS and Gamay MVB (tried it out few months ago!)

Discover the world of Vivanterre here and follow them on Instagram. In Poland, Natural Rascal stocks the Vivanterre selection.

Berlin: Canal Eclairs

First thing’s first: so sorry for my blog absence for the couple of days (maybe even weeks, actually). Had a quite tumultuous time, but things’ are finally getting better. Now, time for the delicious part: Berlin‘s Canal, the best spot for crazy good eclairs in the German capital. Having started this compact cafe as an ice cream shop in 2015, co-founders and pastry masters Daniella Barriobero Canal und Guadalupe Eichner decided to move into eclairs to keep customers happy during the winter months. The pair worked intensively to create the best eclairs possible, and if you want to get your hands on one of the seasonal, heavenly varieties they’ve developed, it’s worth to get there early. You won’t want to miss out on the likes of the pistachio and raspberry eclair, with Sicilian nut pastry cream, whipped ganache and fresh berries; or the matcha sesame, which features the best Valrhona Opalys white chocolate. Sneak a couple of these delights home with you in a box when you next stop by for a coffee. 

Rosenthaler Str. 40 / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Santorini – Where to Eat?

The view from Aktaion.


On islands as well-travelled as Santorini, you might expect to sacrifice substance for style in local restaurants. Well, a lot of restaurants here are overpriced and rather ordinary But between the traditional tavernas and smart supper spots, travellers can find fresh seafood, family-run restaurants and modern Mediterranean dishes in the less known places. Many tables are angled just so to watch the sun set over the caldera, making every evening meal something quite special. Here are my top three addresses!

Metaxi Mas

This is the best restaurant on the island – and the best proof of that is the fact it’s locals’ favourite. The most delicious recipes of the Santorinian and Cretan cuisine, the freshest ingredients from the kitchen garden, refreshing raki (the iconic grape-based pomace brandy of Crete) and unique wines, this place will please you with its laid-back atmosphere and high quality dining. Reminiscent of an island house porch, and an atmosphere full of the Aegean Sea’s colors and aromas, Metaxi Mas serves authentic and original dishes: fava (the famous yellow split pea dip) and white eggplant in the oven, beef fillet in Vinsanto sauce, and boneless pork chops in orange sauce with baked potatoes. Don’t forget to try their octopus, it’s amazing. Maybe the restaurant doesn’t face the sunset, but the food served here definitely does the work.

Exo Gonia, Santorini PC 84700

Dimitris Taverna

In a unique spot, the bay of Ammoudi, you will enjoy the warm hospitality and the delicacies of the Dimitris Taverna established in 1989. In this dreamy corner on the extreme, north part of Santorini, below the famous village of Oia, nestled in the imposing red rock, the tavern prepares fish and sea food dishes inspired by the mediterranean cuisine to accompany ouzo, beer or the famous Santorini wine. Dimitris and Joy, the couple that are the owners of the restaurant, decided ito open this taverna in a small, abandoned warehouse, where locals used to store the boats. More than twenty years later few things have changed. The love and passion for the fresh seafood, the Greek and Mediterranean cuisine remain the same and are shared with the visitors of Santorini.

Ammoudi (Oia), Santorini 84700

Aktaion

This 80-year-old taverna is a quaint spot to try traditional, reasonably priced dishes such as fava with capers, mackerel fritters and white-aubergine pie. Their loukoumades (fried feta cheese balls with tomato sauce) is heaven!

Firostefani, Santorini 84700

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.