Some journeys never finish, like that with Gianfranco Cammarata through the world of wine. Real wines, like those of long ago, inside an orange Volkswagen T2 from the '70s which Gianfranco used to travel around the vineyards of his beloved Sicily, in search of small winemakers.
From Camporeale to Pantelleria, to Syracuse and Salina, these are the vines that then find their deserved exposure in his wine cellar. First, it was called la Cana. Arrè Gusto, in dialect, means “again,” has the sincere conviction that before suggesting a wine it is necessary to know the face of the person who made it, their story, favorite places, their vineyards.
But as with all journeys worthy of experience, this one too knows no limits. It is such that alongside local and more obscure labels, Gianfranco also stocks his wine cellar with bottles from the most diverse places, whether they are from Italy or beyond, including France. The important thing is that they are always from small cellars. We haven’t even begun to talk about his selection of gins, with more than fifty labels for those evenings where you know when (and with whom) you’re starting them, but never when they’re ending.
With this broad choice of drinks, for aperitifs, dinner or supper (the kitchen is open until midnight), there is always fresh fish, naked and raw, the best from the fishmonger, that Gianfranco takes every day from the market of Ballarò or Vucciria. Elisabetta Coniglio, with her expert culinary skills and the right amount of delicacy and grit, prepares sushi, tartar and fish crudités as if it were the only thing she had done all her life.
The truth is different: despite being very young, she already has a wealth of experiences, such as the years she spent in the restaurants in Grenoble or those in a cheese factory on the Nebrodi where she lived alone in ruins amid an oak forest.
She will prepare a tasting menu full of tuna and red Mazara prawns, as well as oysters and salmon, as her philosophy is always the same: she keeps one foot in Sicily and the other in the rest of the world. Therefore, this is the right place to get to know the most secret wine-production Sicily, but also the right place for those of you who are most skeptical about raw fish, a novelty in food culture in Palermo.
But here, by a clearly visible cooking system that is always working, with the kitchen and Elisabetta’s ability on view, you will completely change your mind on its healthiness, safety and particularly its generosity.
You could say you have been to the right place at the right time.