Duomo Ristorante


+3 more
Price level

Expert recommendation

Chef Ciccio Sultano doesn't like to be put in boxes. The only thing he will attest to is that, yes, he is first and foremost a Sicilian chef, then Italian. But when it comes to his style, he challenges the notions of fine dining - even though he runs a 2-star restaurant - , and instead gives you a fascinating take on history and the mix of different nations, cultures & political systems that have shaped and formed Sicily, and how some ingredients we perceive as luxurious used to be no more than peasant food. "Take truffles - they were fodder for pigs. Now they are this expensive delicacy. Fish roe was discarded, now it's considered fine dining," he ponders, sitting on the terrace of his Duomo restaurant overlooking the wild untamed nature of southern Sicily on one side and majestic baroque dome of San Giorgio's church on the other. One reviewer, trying to shoehorn Ciccio, described his cooking as baroque, probably inspired by all the ornamented balconies, intricated stucco details and curvy bell towers of Ragusa Ibla, town that was completely destroyed in the 1693 earthquake before it was rebuilt in Baroque style. Sultano builds his cuisine on Sicilian family meal traditions - but, as he emphasizes, it's both rural and aristocratic, taking something from every period Sicily went through, transforming a lasagna into a vegetable one with no pasta used, and serving lovely, completely gluten free "buttons" made of chickpeas in a rich thick sauce of anchovies and broccoli. There's caviar as well, serving as a little lift-me-up to warm ricotta, prawn and aromatic herbs plate that stems from a very basic snack they would eat at the seaside. It's a heavily seafood/plant-based menu, playing with acidity be it from different kinds of island citrus or the coastal herbs, paying homage to Sicily which, as I have been reminded several times, is Italy's biggest and incredibly diverse region where finding incredible produce is no stretch. At Sultano's places (Duomo & his casual bakery/trattoria Ibanchi), they work with old Sicilian grains, and even though Ciccio is a Krug ambassador, for me the true gems were lesser known Sicilian organic wines, a treasure chest of beautiful deep minerality.

Ibla, Via Capitano Bocchieri, 31, 97100 Ragusa RG, Italy

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