Monday, September 07, 2009

Il Duomo

Il Duomo

Ragusa Ibla



Sicily’s only two Michelin star restaurant, probably only worth one star but probably got the second on the basis of it being very innovative. Baroque building, rather austere interior and rather stiff service that was trying too had to live up to the two star billing. I suspect they are trying very hard to distinguish themselves from the rather informal/casual air of Ragusa in general.

We had a 15 course tasting menu. This is not quite as large as it sounds as 9 of the dishes where very small antipasto style dishes some of which where only one bite. Nonetheless that means we had 9 small and 6 normal sized dishes. This completely overpowered my appetite!

Much of the food was not terribly memorable such as the local langouste served raw with honey as a one bite dish. Pleasant, fresh but not memorable. Similarly, a dish of raw sea urchin and ricotta sounded exiting but did not live up to its billing.


  1. Melon sorbet w/basil soup. An absolutely stunning combination. I’m not sure how you make basil soup it may just be masticated basil with water and some syrup but add in very cold cantaloupe melon sorbet and you have a killer combination;
  2. Sword Fish w/fresh green chilli. Literally just a 5 ml thick slice of lightly seared swordfish fillet with a tiny piece of chilli. Turns out that’s all you need for a wonderful mouthful;
  3. Sauce from leaves of zucchini: we had a rather uninspiring tuna steak that was served in a sauce made from the leaves of the zucchini plant which I was not aware where used for cooking. Turns out they have a wonderful fresh yet tangy taste and as a sauce completely saved the dish;
  4. Pasta al limone w/squeeze of scrimp head: If I understood the Matre D correctly this is nothing but classic pasta al limone (lemon juice, lemon zest, Parmigianino and olive oil) with the juice made by crushing scrimp heads, pored over at the last moment. We also had a few lightly steamed scrimp in the pasta but they where not important. The important thing was the strangely attractive combination of the limone sauce and the scrimp head juice. Very difficult to describe but somehow the fishyness of the scrimp head and the light clear and tart taste of the sauce just work perfectly.