An interesting new reality expands the restaurant offerings in the town of Milazzo, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy that enjoys a picturesque location by the sea with a view of the Aeolian Islands. It is the Restaurant 'Winter Garden' of theNgonia Bay Boutique Hotel which will open its doors on 4 October in Milazzo, in the province of Messina. Long considered the 'gateway to the Aeolian Islands', Milazzo is one of the favourite destinations for tourists who choose to spend a holiday dedicated to the sea and good food. Here, the culinary tradition, thanks to the fact that cooking is a constantly changing world, has also given way to a modern and contemporary vision of food. Against this backdrop is the new restaurant 'Winter Garden' located in the Baia del Tono (the final stretch of the western waterfront), in Piazza 'Ngonia. In summer, the Bay is taken by storm by locals and tourists alike, fascinated by the crystal-clear sea and the beach that, straight for kilometres, suddenly curves to meet the rocky ridge and cliffs from which there is a breathtaking view. In Piazza 'Ngonia, behind the recently renovated old church, there was one of the largest tuna fisheries in Milazzo. Today, the locality has been given a new lease of life thanks to the Calabrese family's receptive structure that has invested in hospitality and excellent catering, renovating the old building that belonged to the aristocratic families that owned the Tonnara del Tono, D'Amico and Calapaj.

Amidst century-old plants and a few orchids that recall the cultivation of these delightful flowers by the aristocrats of the time, inside the Ngonia Bay Boutique Hotel now stands the new restaurant that aims to innovate cuisine through the skilful use of modern techniques and local ingredientscarefully sourced from the rich local production.

"As in all success stories - says the entrepreneur Marco Calabreseowner of the elegant and modern facility - you need a team of talents to have an exciting finale. Perfectly in line with the idea of rediscovering our identity by starting from our origins and enhancing everything that is Sicilian, genuine and km 0 - Calabrese further comments - I have chosen a team of young talents with the addition of a 'foreign' chef to give an international touch to the cuisine of Ngonia Bay'.

The team of young people, all strictly under 35, consists of:

Salvatore Branchello, 33-year-old chef, a passionate connoisseur of Nebrodi products who, every morning, starts his day by personally choosing the first fruits from the local gardens, the freshest fish and the best meat. After various experiences around Italy, Branchello has chosen to return to his homeland to tell his idea of cuisine that enhances the characteristics of Sicilian raw materials. With him in the kitchen, giving an international touch to the dishes, is the chef Jom Jom Kabir34 years old, who fell in love with our land and chose to put down roots here. A great expert in fish processing techniques, he prefers raw preparations in which he enhances the taste of the sea and is in charge of first courses which he creates with flair and attention to detail.

Mario Cortese, a creative 28-year-old pastry chef, is entrusted with the mission of bringing every meal to a sweet end. His artistic touch, projected into the world of pastry, allows him to create masterpieces of taste, putting into practice the techniques learnt in the best pastry schools in Europe. Among his experiences, Cortese boasts collaborations with such renowned names in the pastry art as Luigi Biasetto, Rita Busalacchi, Gerard Taurin and Cecile Moritel. An aesthete in presentation, the young pastry chef likes to use fruit and spices for his creations that captivate the eyes and pleasantly surprise the palate.

Great attention is paid to the Hall where the maître Luca De Gaetano, 29 years old, accompanies the diner through the gastronomic experience, guiding him with professionalism and an elegant flair that comes from his important experience as chef de range in important starred restaurants, such as the Therasia Resort in Vulcano during the years when chef Crescenzo Scotti won his first Michelin star. A sommelier, great wine enthusiast and connoisseur, Luca De Gaetano is able to interpret his customers' tastes and suggest the right label to go with the chefs' creative cuisine.

To complete the team, an experienced bartender could not be missing. Danilo La Bella, now 31 years old, who started working in bars at a very young age during the summer seasons. After attending courses qualifying him to become a bartender, he travelled extensively, comparing himself with various masters of the art of mixology. Today his cocktails are appreciated by connoisseurs of the genre who love tradition but also love experimenting with new flavours and daring combinations. The constant that characterises most of his mixes is the ever-changing use of essences obtained from Sicilian citrus fruits and aromatic plants.

Sicilian identity is the one that best represents the new 'Ngonia Bay restaurant where the protagonists are Mazara prawns, Ganzirri mussels, sea urchins, Nebrodi porcini mushrooms, and Sicilian citrus fruits. The menu ranges to conquer the tastes of a discerning public that prefers the most sought-after ingredients, from shellfish to truffles, from pork tenderloin to rubia gallega. In addition to the à la carte menu, you can choose the 6-course Tasting Menu 'La 'Ngonia del Tono', a food and wine journey of Sicilian excellence.

The restaurant will be open to the public from Friday 4 October, every day for lunch and dinner. Closing day Tuesday.

gabriele tumeo
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