A celebration of Sicily: the magic triangle of Pino Cuttaia
During recent months we have become used to hearing about restaurants and bars closing due to the pandemic, but a signal of hope and optimism comes from Licata, a stunning small town in the south of Sicily, close to Agrigento and its timeless temples. Last June, chef Pino Cuttaia (awarded two Michelin stars) opened Uovo di Seppia a mare, a lovely bistro where guests can contemplate the Mediterranean Sea while eating its delicious gifts. A brand-new project that completes the offerings of “siblings” Uovo di Seppia and La Madia.
Nothing can separate chef Pino Cuttaia from his beloved hometown Licata. After many years spent in the north of Italy, he began his great and multi-awarded career with his restaurant La Madia.
An elegant and minimal space with wooden walls covered with beautiful pictures and phrases that reveal the real soul of the restaurant; a place where people feel at home, where they can be enchanted by the incredible menus created by the chef. When you ask him about this he says “my secret ingredient is memory.” Tasting his specialties is just like looking at a black & white photo album; you can see all Sicily’s tradition, you live childhood memories, you feel the atmosphere in your granny’s kitchen, but there are also so many unexpected details that can surprise you.
All the dishes are based on Sicilian specialties and the ingredients are rigorously local. Chef Cuttaia applied his magic touch and gives a new life to tradition. Have you ever considered eating cannoli made with aubergines, or an “octopus on the rock?”
A new element to Pino Cuttaia’s unstoppable creativity began during the Masterchef final two years ago, when he challenged the competitors with a new creation–the mysterious “uovo di seppia” (squid egg). It may seem like a simple boiled egg, but is actually a squid sculpted like an egg, holding a delicious à-la-coque yolk and surrounded by a nest of black truffle. This culinary illusion surprised everyone, and is now the symbol of his simple but innovative style.
After Uovo di Seppia became famous, Pino Cuttaia decided to open the business in his hometown Licata where you can find typical Sicilian specialties such as arancine, fresh homemade pasta, irresistible sauces, and many other goodies carefully selected by the chef. This place is a sort of playground for him; strict restaurant rules do not apply, and he can create simple and tasty take-away dishes that vary every day. Thanks to Uovo di Seppia, everyone can eat an awarded meal in the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere of their home.
Even during the lockdown, when everybody was forced to stop and were quite scared about the future, Pino Cuttaia did not give up. On the contrary, he found inspiration, creativity, and a new idea to develop.
That’s how Uovo di Seppia a mare (squid egg on the beach) was born. Pino Cuttaia has created a small and informal space, close to the sea, where guests can taste a prêt-à-porter menu; simple but creative dishes that show his love for Sicily and the many wonderful products it offers in every season.
The chef strongly believes in being an ambassador of his own territory and he wants his guests to appreciate the best ingredients from the sea and from the country. Busiate (a typical Sicilian handmade pasta), gnocchi, spaghetti, tuna, octopus, and mussels are just some of many amazing specialties that guests can taste while surrounded by sun and waves.
The bistro has a beautiful wooden terrace just in front of the stunning Lido di Miramare di Licata, surrounded by white tents that fly with the sea breeze and the sound of the Mediterranean Sea. It is impossible to describe how beautiful the sunset is seen from a table at Uovo di Seppia a mare.
Pino Cuttaia has given you three good reasons for visiting his incredible land, you just have to choose which one to start with!