Western Sicily

CASTELBUONO Nangalarruni Ristorante

Via Alberghi 5 (formerly Via delle Confraternite), 90013 Tel 0921-671 428

In the hills southeast of Cefalù, Nangalarruni is ideal for sampling wild mushrooms, including “Basilico”, the “king of mushrooms”, which is prepared with tagliatelle. Wild herbs season the dishes, like Nebrodi pork with almonds and pistachios. Desserts include ricotta pastry and chocolate flan. About 600 international wines on the list. Closed Wed.

CASTELLAMMARE DEL GOLFO Torre Bennistra

Via Natale di Roma 19, Località Scopello, 91014 Tel 0924-541 128

Reopened in 2005 after an extensive four-year renovation, Torre Bennista has a homely family atmosphere. Antipasti include tuna carpaccio (thin, raw slices), shrimp with lemon and sarde a beccaficu (staffed sardines). The inn overlooks the village of Scopello and the rocks.

ERICE Monte San Giuliano

Vicolo San Rocco 7, 91016 Tel 0923-869 595

Located in the medieval centre, the menu here offers excellent seafood, veal roulades with prosciutto in Marsala and mushroom sauce, or pasta with fresh pesto trapanese. Thirty Sicilian wines; the house red is a lovely Nero d’Avola. Closed Mon; Jan, 2 weeks Nov.

MARSALA Ristorante Mamma Laura

Contrada Ettore Infersa, 91025 Tel 0923-966 036

This cute rustic café at the edge of the salt flats offers a view of brilliant salt crystals and of the small boats that arrive and depart for Mozia. Outside, a detached roof offers shady respite from the heat. No gourmet cusine, but a few simple hot dishes and sandwiches at lunch. An ideal spot for a morning cappuccino or an aperitif while the sun sets.

MARSALA La Bottega del Carmine

Via Carturca 20, 91025 Tel 0923-719 055

This hip newcomer sets the ambience with a dramatically lit courtyard, gauzy drapes and contemporary music. The fish roulades with rocket and cherry tomatoes are particularly delicious, and there is a good roast meat platter. Bar snacks, like arancini (stuffed fried rice balls) or cheese bites, plus a glass of wine won’t cost very much. Closed lunch.

MARSALA Tiburon Beach Lido Signorino

Contrada Fossarunza 297, 91025 Tel 0923-998 441

This lively beach restaurant attracts everyone from wine executives and importers to teenagers, who opt for pizza from their wood-burning oven. The antipasti plate, which includes cannonichio (a local mollusc), fried tiny octopus, shrimp in mayonnaise, sea urchins and other delights, can be a light summer meal on its own. Great value.

MARSALA Eubes

Contrada da Spagnola 228, 91025 Tel 0923-996 231

A sandy lane across from Mozia’s salt flats leads to Eubes’ tempting variety of seafood dishes. Try the excellent smoked tuna, fried tuna with sweet-and-sour sauce or the fish balls. Pasta with shrimp is flavourful, as is the perfectly fried squid. The chef skilfully gives traditional dishes a delightfully inventive twist.

MARSALA Trattoria Garibaldi

Piazza Addolorato 35, 91025 Tel 0923-953 006 or 989 100

In summer the wooden tables expand into the lovely square. The generous antipasti buffet includes local fish, vegetables and meat. Busiati (sliced pasta tubes) with shellfish is particularly recommended. Select your fish from the display, and it will be cooked to order (fried, boiled or steamed). Closed Sat lunch, Sun dinner.

MARSALA Villa Favorita

Via Favorita 27, 91025 Tel 0923-989 100

Once a wine estate, this early 19th century villa is a favourite of locals for its quality cusine and the pretty setting. Its historic buildings, renovated in 2006, and its Mediterranean garden are popular for wedding receptions and other important occasions. The fish dishes are particularly good, whether as antipasti, with pasta or as a main course.

MAZARA DEL VALLO Trattoria del Pescatore

Via Castelvetrano 191, 91026 Tel 0923-947 580

Fish is the star here. For starters, try the arancini di mare (seafood rice balls), a tasty variation on the traditional meat or cheese arancini. Much of the cusine has a strong Tunisian influence, so look for fish cous cous and other North African dishes. A tasting menu is also available. Closed Mon.

SAN VITO LO CAPO Gna Sara

Via Duca degli Abruzzi 8, 91010 Tel 0923-972 100

This busy trattoria has outside seating – some with sea view – and offers traditional fare with a twist. Popular dishes include cous cous with fish; home-made pasta with Trapani-style pesto; pasta with fish in lemon-wine sauce and pizza. About 120 wines on the list. Closed Nov – Dec.

SAN VITO LO CAPO Tha’am

Via Abruzzi 32, 91010 Tel 0923-972 836

Tha’am is Arabic for “food”. In the local dialect, the word is also sometimes used to mean cous cous. The speciality here is Tunisian cusine, plus there is a good choice of local dishes. The list also features 40 Sicilian wines. The interior has some Arabic touches, and some outdoor tables have a view of the port. Closed wed (except Jun – Sep); Jan.

TRAPANI Da Peppe

Via Spalti 50, 91100 Tel 0923-282 46

Peppe’s dishes place a special emphasis on fresh vegetables. Pesto Trapanese, made with fresh tomato, almonds, basil and garlic, dresses pasta like busiate (sliced tubes), or you can try the fish cous cous or fish soup. There is also much to satisfy vegetarians. The summer tasting menu is a bargain. Closed Mon in winter. Christmas – mid Jan.

TRAPANI Trattoria del Porto

Via Ammiraglio Staiti 45, 91100 Tel 0923-547 822

Trapani is proud of this family-run trattoria near the ferries for the Aegadian Islands. Fish cous cous is its most popular dish; indeed, some claim this trattoria’s version is the area’s best. Other main courses include pasta with swordfish, aubergine and shrimp, seafood lasagna, and cuttlefish with nuts. Closed Mon in winter; Christmas.

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