Word of Mouth: Signum (Salina)

August 1st, 2011 by The House



We’re actually getting kinda sick of new restaurants; it’s a bit tedious pointing out the same types of flaws over and over and over again and ultimately being disappointed more often than impressed. (Here’s a novel idea: why don’t you try working to improve the shitty restaurant you already have, rather than opening a new one every nine months, you greedy egomaniacal bastard?) But hey, maybe that’s just us.
Anyhoo! It’s so nice to see you! We hadn’t planned on visiting your place, probably like— ever— but the "word of mouth" on this joint has been pretty outstanding. So, ya know— we’re intrigued. We’re hoping that good "word of mouth" is all genuine, and we can get us some of that good in our mouth. Word.
What’s that? You’d love to take advantage of all our vast experience, knowledge, insight, and expertise as long as we’re already here? Because you’re hoping we’ll like it and help spread the news, since you fired your publicist long ago for not doing jack shit for you?
Of course, we’d be honored. Oh ha, yesss, we’ll be honest— brutally honest even, ha ha! After all, that’s what obnoxious opinionated food-bloggers are for!
No no please, don’t send anything more, we’re stuffed, we can’t breathe, you’ll have to roll us out of here, ha ha ha… !


Signum (Malfa, Salina)

What exactly made you choose our restaurant?
Actually, my hosts chose it; I think it came highly recommended to them by a friend who’d visited the Aeolian Islands the summer prior.

What was your first impression?
Wow. Holy cow.

Please rate the Bar:
N/A? If there’s a bar, I didn’t see one. But they do have an extraordinary outdoor patio/lounge overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea that’s "for drinks and dessert only." In which case, who needs an effin bar?

Please rate the drinks/ cocktails/ wine:
Opted for wine (a Chardonnay I didn’t choose, which was very good) so I have no idea about the cocktails, sorry. But quite frankly, with an ambience like this, I might very well have been quite happy drinking hooch and Boone’s Farm, I’m not sure.
Oh okay, on a more serious note, my friend’s Campari and soda looked appealing, respectable, and refreshing— and it had a beautiful fresh orange slice in it. So I’m willing to bet the majority of their cocktails really don’t suck at all.

Please rate the Dining Room:
Beautiful. Rustic yet incredibly elegant. And again, that view

Please rate the BOH:
Outstanding. Really truly excellent, no exaggeration.
As a person of my — ahem — "noted" expertise, I am often asked where I’ve had the most phenomenal dining experience. Well, now I finally have an answer I needn’t think that hard about nor elaborate with justifications and explanations. Ha ha ha ahah, I can’t wait to tell the next person that inquires that one of my favoritest restaurants everrr is in Malfa on Salina the Aeolian Island in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the coast of Sicily ("you muuust go by boat, dahling"). It sounds even more awesomely pretentious than "al Moro in Rome."

How was the staff?
Wonderful. Very congenial and accommodating, especially considering we arrived without a reservation (it soon became much more crowded than the photos would suggest).
In all honesty, the waiter seemed a bit agitated at first when he mistakenly thought our (large-ish) party was going to skip appetizers, but he got a lot more amicable when the food and wine orders started rolling in heartily.

What did you eat?/ How was the food?
Raw fish ("cruditá") fresh from the sea : Amazing. Without a doubt the best I’ve had in my whole entire life. The shrimp especially was of a buttery texture and flavor that’s damned near indescribable. I am not kidding when I say I feel like I’ve had some kind of crudo epiphany. If seafood is shipped in from eh-nee-where, it will never ever ever ever EVER taste like this.
Grilled octopus : You know that pretty general perception that if an octopus is fully grown or older or whatever (as opposed to the cute whole little babies), then it’s inevitably going to be a bit firm (i.e. "tough," i.e. "chewy")? Well, that’s a straight-up LIE, evidently. Cuz this one was as tender, succulent, and tasty as a cute little baby octopus’s ass. So now that’s two epiphanies.
Some kind of tiny ravioli-like pasta, the name of which I can’t recall, with something "pork ragu" and fresh tomato :
Omylord, so delicious. And I really looove how the portion size was just exactly perfect and sufficient (for a late-night pasta dinner the evening before you have to don a bikini early the very next day). This is how Italians (in Italy) stay so slim.
Panna cotta : Oi. I’m generally not a dessert person, but I ate the whole thing. Just the right amount of dolce with a consistency like gelatinous air.
Biscotti and Malvasia :
Somebody call my moms cuz I musta died and gone to heaven.

What did you like?
Are you kidding?

What did you dislike?
It’s a helluva trip to get back here.

What was your last impression?
Can this place possibly really exist?

Would you come back?
Oh please please please please please gawd pleeeease….

Thank you, and hope to see you soon!
Buona notte, grazie mille. Che bellissima sorpresa.


More photographs of Signum, Salina-Malfa, and/or the rest of Isole Eolie are at abbediaz.com



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