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Agorà la Cantina

Eugenio Vazzano
February 28, 2021
March 12, 2021
All photos © agora la cantina

Agorà. After the theatre, drop in at home

After visiting the Greek Theatre, and the archaeological park of Neapolis, the Paolo Orsi Archaeological Museum is a must-see, as it’s one of the most important museums in Europe, and no more than 300 mt. away. On the way there, in Viale Teocrito, if it’s lunch time, you should make a quick stop at home. Yes, Agorà feels like home, with a touch of eccentricity, rather than a restaurant or a trattoria.
Fabrizio, the son who’s also an architect, and Gianna, a mum with blue hair who owned a clothing boutique for thirty years, have transformed their private love for cooking into a very welcoming place to stop for food. Only at lunch time, mind you, “so we have time to live” they say together, and with a menu they decide every day on the basis of what they find at the market; there’s no paper, the prepared food is on display at the counter and served by polite, charming young people, here and there on the walls along with the vintage furniture are quotes and references.
Our cooking - says Gianna - is based on the home cooking of the Fifties, when there wasn’t a lot of meat and not a lot of money, so with lots of vegetables cooked as first courses. I use a lot of spices which grow locally, wild fennel from the surroundings, garlic, onion and lots of dishes with aubergines, but never when they are out of season because they have too many seeds”. On the subject of aubergines, at Agorà you can try an excellent 'caponata' with sweet and sour vegetables but no peppers - an applause for the chef! On the counter you can almost always find ‘polpette’, meatballs with high quality meat and vegetables, fresh fish at reasonable prices and seasonal soups which smell of tradition. To finish, you can try tiny delicious desserts - just the right size so you don’t eat too much and can continue your tour of the city!
Agorà was created first as somewhere for local workers and friends to meet, but soon it became such a success that Gianna and Fabrizio talk lightly about an unexpected series of events. In actual fact, it’s clear that their simple ideas were based on considerations that were anything but casual. They say that everything happened as if by magic, but everything fits into place, not by accident, and with an authentic originality that has caught the attention of tourists as they pass, “those tourists who come from the theatre and ask about the museum, the ones who don’t drop their napkins on the ground”.
So, good food, plus a glass of wine - a recipe for life. Highly recommended for friends, people who work nearby, and tourists - the ‘discerning’ ones, of course!
Gennaio 2021

Una vita passata a raccontare storie con le parole, la penna, la macchina per scrivere, il computer, l’obiettivo. L’ultima in ordine di tempo, nel libro Il patrimonio degli equivoci. Allarme beni culturali in Sicilia. Non ho resistito all’idea di guidare SiracusaCulture, di cui sono Direttore responsabile.