New business venture in Milazzo: the Winter Garden of 'Ngonia Bay opens.

New business venture in Milazzo: the Winter Garden of 'Ngonia Bay opens.

An interesting new establishment expands the restaurant offerings in the town of Milazzo, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, which enjoys an evocative location by the sea with a view of the Aeolian Islands. It is the "Giardino d'Inverno" restaurant of the Ngonia 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. This is the backdrop for the new 'Giardino d'Inverno' restaurant 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 one enjoys a breathtaking view. In Piazza 'Ngonia, behind the recently renovated old church, 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.

With centuries-old trees and a few orchids recalling the cultivation of these delightful flowers by the aristocrats of the time, inside the Ngonia Bay Boutique Hotel now stands the new restaurant, which aims to innovate cuisine through the skilful use of modern techniques and locally sourced ingredients, carefully sourced from the rich local produce.

"Perfectly in line with the idea of rediscovering our identity, starting from our origins and enhancing everything that is Sicilian, genuine and zero-kilometre,' Calabrese 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, a 33-year-old chef, is a passionate connoisseur of Nebrodi products who, every morning, starts his day by personally choosing the first fruits of 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 34-year-old chef Jom Jom Kabir, 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 exalts the taste of the sea and is in charge of first courses that he creates with flair and attention to detail.

AMario 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 loves to use fruit and spices in his creations that captivate the eyes and pleasantly surprise the palate.

Great attention is paid to the dining room where maître Luca De Gaetano, 29, accompanies diners through the gastronomic experience, guiding them with professionalism and an elegant flair, which he owes to 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 customers' tastes and suggest the right label to match the chefs' creative cuisine.

The team could not be completed without an experienced bartender. Danilo La Bella, now 31 years old, 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 what best represents the new restaurant signed 'Ngonia Bay 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 an increasingly demanding public that prefers the choice of the most sought-after ingredients, from shellfish to truffles, from scottona (a type of mutton) 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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