Here it begins…my very first #MappingSICILY post. I’ve been wanting to share our experience of moving to Sicily for a while, but I felt like I needed to actually experience life here first, before I could write about it. Well, it’s been 18 months since we arrived - I can’t actually believe how fast time flies - and I am ready & very excited to share with you all the beauty we found in Sicily.
Starting with Me Cumpari Turiddu seems like a very fitting choice. This restaurant was the first place I found and fell in love with in Catania. This is also the place where I made my first Italian friend who made me feel like life will be ok here after moving across the pond. But let’s start from the beginning…..
Enter Me Cumpari. The place is absolutely stunning and it is everything you dream Sicily to be. Beautiful antique chandeliers hanging above the dainty Italian lace cloths drooping from the vaulted ceiling. The walls show the times past and you can feel all the history of the island. Every little detail is crafted to perfection. From the hand crocheted doilies, the mismatched antique chairs, to the old porcelain that was probably a family heirloom in the past.
Every bit of Me Cumpari has been put together with love & care. How do I know that? Well, here comes the second part of the story.
I was having an afternoon coffee at Me Cumpari, and obviously, me being me, I was posting on IG stories about the interior. After a little while a lovely female comes up to me and thanks me for my kind words on IG. She has a smile on her face and she has all this positive energy about her. Her name is Roberta Capizzi and she is the owner of Me Cumpari.
Me Cumpari Turiddu means ‘My Friend, Turiddu’ which represents the essence of the restaurant. Roberta’s vision is to make people feel home and build relationships with her customers. A place where you can back to and the waiters will know your name. A place where food taste just like your Sicilian nonna would cook it.
Hence, the menu is filled with traditional Sicilian dishes. The kitchen sources fresh local produce every day, nothing is flown in from other countries, nothing has been sitting on shelves or trucks for days. And why would it be?! Sicily is abundant in incredible fresh produce all year around and Me Cumpari wants to celebrate this.
Me Cumpari works with local farmers and growers, and the beauty is that Roberta knows each one of these people and their products. She tells me about the goat farmer who makes the most amazing goat cheese and goat yoghurt that they use for a delicious dessert (keep your eyes peeled towards the end, you’ll see what I’m talking about).
Me Cumpari has been listed on the Michelin Guide for years now, a testament to their quality and service. They serve Sicilian dishes that are made from locally sourced ingredients like Sicilian pistachio mortadella, black pork from the Nebrodi region, or Ragusan donkey meat. Their wine cellar is stocked with amazing Sicilian wines that you must try if you are on the island. My personal favorites are wines from Mt. Etna, but other regions of Sicily produce delicious varieties as well. The list could go on…so instead of telling you more about it, why don’t you visit and eat & drink well at Me Cumpari when you are in Sicily?!
Address: Piazza Turi Ferro, 36/38, 95131 Catania CT
Opening Hours: 10:30AM-1:00AM every day
P.S.: my other favorite thing about the restaurant is their opening hours. While traveling around Italy, you will learn that you cannot simply eat at all hours of the day. Italian restaurants close between lunch and dinner, so very often you will not find a place to eat between 3pm-7pm. But Me Cumpari will never leave you hungry, they are open 10:30AM - 1:00AM so you can always grab a bite.
Words by: Niki Csanyi
Photography by: Niki Csanyi