Monday, May 17, 2010


Tràpani, May 17, 2010—
WE TURN TONIGHT to one of the guidebooks for help choosing a restaurant — it's Monday, the choices are limited. We settle on Ai Lumi because it's inexpensive and local, described in the Cadogan guide as "an old tavern where the locals eat some of Tràpani's best food," and an easy walk from the hotel on the pedestrian-only Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

It's a very nice-looking restaurant inside — I'm sorry Google isn't allowing me to post any more photos here at the moment. There are a number of families dining, some with kids in strollers. German is spoken at one table, but Italian at most of the others. It's not a tourist joint; the menu's in Italian only. And it features couscous, which Lindsey's been wanting to try.

We start with a platter of salumi: lardo, prosciutto, cooked ham, salami, bresaola; served with slivered dates and broken-up walnuts and a handful of small leaves of arugula and — orange jam: a sort of marmalade made without any of the orange peel. This is an inspired combination and one we'll have to repeat once home; it makes me want to make some marmalade immediately — too bad oranges will be out of season.

Lindsey had her platter of couscous, with small red prawns, clams, mussels (delicious smoky ones), and monkfish; I had cascaretti in brodo, ravioli filled with fish paste — all sorts of fish scraps, I suppose, cooked down and mashed together, in a Provençal-style fish soup. It was, in a couple of words, quite tasty.
Inzolia (dry white), Adragna, 2009
  • Ai Lumi, Corso V. Emanuele 75, tel. +39 09238 72418
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