Mangia Monday's: Get a Taste of Sicily at Quattro Tonight

Miami Spice's prices -- three-course offerings at a low of $33 for dinner -- have garnered a lot of talk: the good, the best, and the misses.

But there are a few restaurants that have more than just Miami Spice up their promotional sleeve. Quattro Gastronomia, Lincoln Road's chic Italian eatery, for instance, offers Mangia Monday's. A regional tasting menu that took the restaurant to Piedmont and Napoli during the last two months has now landed in Sicily. What better way to start the week than with some Italian?

See also:

-Mangia Mondays at Quattro Highlights Regional Italian at a Discount

Sicily is known for rich Italian traditions, mainly sharing meals with family. Twin Chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro have translated this into a menu that is sure to give you a proper tour of Sicilian flavors. "Olives, capers, anchovies -- these are all things truest and most prominent in Sicily," says Nicola. There is no puttanesca on the menu, which was sad since it's one of my favorite sauces, but that sadness dissipated as soon as the food started to arrive.

Arancini di messina - crispy rice ball stuffed with beef ragu, mozzarella and green peas was the start to our Sicilian journey. Delicious, but we wish it would of had a little more sauce to soak in.

The other choice of antipasti - caponata di melanzane e polpo, or uh, vegetables stew with pine nut and grilled octopus. It was a cool and chewy contrast to the warmth and crisp of the arancini.

Our waiter told us. He prefers hot appetizers because they open up your appetite. Agree?

What's any Italian meal without some traditional Sunday gravy? The anelletti al forgo is old-school Sicilian. Imagine grandma working hard to get this baked pasta with beef sauce and caciocavallo cheese to a perfect al dente with just the right flavor. Nicola and Frabrizio are no grandmas, or grandpas for that matter, but the tradition seems to have been handed down perfectly. We wish there would have been more sauce, but that's just us being picky, and saucy.

Swordfish skewers with aromatic bread crumbs, capers, cherry tomatoes and spinach is the closest thing to a puttanesca. It even has taggiasca olives -the Italian version of kalamata olives. They are slightly smaller, but pack the same punch and salty bite. For a main course you can also choose from rigatoni with eggplant and ricotta salad or braised stuffed beef with mortadella and Ragusano cheese.

Dessert is always bittersweet. It's the ending to the meal you don't want to be over. The watermelon semifreddo with pistachio candy is just that - bittersweet.

Cannoli stuffed with sweet ricotta, 'cause Italians just can't get enough of ricotta in their main courses.

The Sicilian Mangia Monday's tasting menu costs $39 per person, excluding tax and gratuity and is available Mondays through all of August. Sicilian wines will also be discounted at 20% if paired with the special menu. Can't make it tonight? Quattro offers Miami Spice every single day for lunch and dinner. Cheers to that too ...

Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha

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