Here there is my cuisine: it evokes my childhood memories at the sea and in the fields, the lunches under the shade of the trees, the harvesting of olives, the scent of the sea.
The floor resembles a field of flowers, walnut chairs and tables recall generous trees, the colours are the same of the countryside, the lanterns evoke those of the little boats hung on the trees in summer nights: all these details bring an imaginary twist into the intimacy of the restaurant, so that it is possible to live on the table the same emotions of life in the fields.
During the first days of 2013, when it was clear that the right time had come for this project to get a real shape, our friendship became like a mission to accomplish together, which since the very begininng it has been an exciting challenge, sometimes harder than expected, but always full of motivation and meaning. All has started with the search for a place that was potentially suitable to fully express the identity we wanted it to have: we were looking for a spot in the town’s historic centre in order to keep clear the bond with a cuisine constantly evoking history and tradition, plus we wanted it to become like a welcoming treasure chest, a place that was at the same time intimate and open.
It took us months to open up the shutter that kept close the ground floor of this palace located in Grimaldi street, which soon would become our frantic building site. We can’t say it was love at first sight, but certainly the allure of this place already so strongly integrated into the old town and yet so vivid in the imagery of those who live in it, seemed to be perfect for what we started to imagine and soon after begun to create: first, we cleared it from the overlays that over the decades had been trapping and darkening its original beauty, we let the light come in creating new spaces inside and we made the whole space dialogue with the parlour of the County that surrounds it. Finally, we gave it a new soul.
Through a wonderful process of invention, pieces of furniture and colours together have been able to tell a story with no need to add any word. In this unstoppable drive to search and experiment, we had a lot of fun and found out also that there are many similarities between the two professions of cook and architect, because both have an exclusive, artisanal approach: they select the producers, the choose the best ingredients one by one, they create combinations that are able to convey balance and elegance. After a non-short negotiation about space distribution – the kitchen for a cook is always too small! – we started to liven the place up: with a comfortable and well-organized workspace, an almost hidden utility room, a small waiting room for making the guests be familiar with the space gradually and, finally, a dining room that is empty of furniture, completely clean, we have created a kind of journey for the guests which, through small but continuous surprises, recalls the sequence of emotions felt while exploring the city.
U It can be described as a faint restoration, an harmonious transformation through past and present that definitively made this place our Home when we started to bring in it our objects and our colours. So, we have transformed the dining room into a sort of secret garden, with the walls empty so that the eyes could look at them as to soft horizons of imagination, but with a solid, fertile, comforting and generous ground: we have travelled the entire Sicily, knocking at the doors of old scrap merchants in order to find tiles for creating a meadow on the floor, and then we put trees, walnut chairs and tables on it. All the chairs have been handcrafted by a skillful artisan, then we have tried them on for days and days to be sure they were perfect to welcome those who are looking for an experience of wellness and pleasure, both comfortable and enveloping, warm, thanks to the touch of a strong wood. The seats are blue like the sea, green like the countryside, red like poppies: a colourful glance where all the shades together recreate the harmonious contrasts of nature. Still looking for a material contact, we have chosen linen table cloths. We have selected lamps that remind of the fishing lamps hung on the boats swinging in the night wind.
Overlooking both Grimaldi street – where we have chosen Modica’s traditional paving stones one by one and the typical green of XVIII century Sicilian portals – and Corso Umberto – where we are growing a small herb garden – this home is ours and yours as well: here the culinary tale finds its larger plot, in an atmosphere where stories and suggestions are constantly shared