Friday, September 4, 2015

Quattro Venti

Quattro Venti offers Italian comfort food in Palermo, Italy.  The restaurant was nearby our hotel so we ventured over for our last dinner in Sicily.


The decor was quite modern with warm wood tones and simple fresh flowers, and was reminiscent of many restaurants in the U.S.  The only difference was instead of an open view into the kitchen, a glass window peeked through the thick wall.  I found the cutout to be at an odd level though - showing more the upper torso and heads of the kitchen staff, whereas I would be more interested into seeing their hands, or what they were doing with the actual food.  Realizing that we spoke only English, our server was excited to bring over their ePad/tablet that displayed their menu in English.  (The physical paper menus were printed in Italian only.)  We quickly looked through the menu and made our decisions.  But first, we picked wine, settling on another white variety we had grown to like - Grillo - this time from Feudo Disisa Vineyards.  It was typical of any other crisp dry white wine that pairs perfectly with seafood.


As a complimentary starter we were served Sfincione, which is like a small spongy pizza topped with simple tomato sauce and onions.  It came with pickled anchovy that was pure and clean.  This was a nice alternative to the other amuse bouches we had received so far from previous restaurants.


There were many pasta dishes that looked good on the menu, but I was pasta'd out and needed a break.  Keith decided to order the Black Tagliolini with mussels and emulsion of Trapanese tomato sauce (raw tomato, basil and almonds).  This dish looked so interesting - I had to have a bite.  The mussels were incredibly tender and overall this dish had intense flavor that was hard to resist.


For his main dish, Keith enjoyed a beautifully plated Stuffed Squid filled with smoked potatoes in a cream sauce made from leeks.  The combination was hearty yet light.


I ordered oddly, only because I think my palate was jaded by all the other Italian fare I'd had so far.  So, I chose the Salmon.  It was coated with bread crumbs and lightly fried, and then served on top an avocado and cucumber salad with a tomato vinaigrette.  The salmon was cooked well, and the avocado and cucumber were a nice change from all the eggplant (which seemed to be a favorite vegetable used throughout the area).  While it was an odd dish to order at an Italian restaurant, and seemed more California-cuisine to say the least, I didn't mind the change up, and rather enjoyed it all.

Total Rating: 3.95
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 3.5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 5

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