Agrigento, Sicily – Hotel and Restaurant Reviews

Demetra Resort

View from the Breakfast Room

Listed as the number three hotel on Tripadvisor for Agrigento. Although a few of the reviewers complained that this hotel really couldn’t be called a resort as there is no pool, which is true, most of the reviews were reasonably good.  It is a good location for those arriving by car, just off of SS640/E931 close to the Valley of the Temples, with ample parking. The building is reasonably new with simple, basic furniture, nothing fancy but clean and comfortable. We upgraded to a superior loft style room with the bedroom and bathroom above a sitting area with glass doors leading to a small patio. The layout was pleasant except for the fact that the ceiling in the bathroom sloped down and Don had to duck both when he entered the bathroom and worse when he took a shower. The other problem was that the shower was not sealed properly and all the water that ran off the glass partition ran down through a hole in the seal and onto the bathroom floor. Uck! The dining room is large and more formal with nice views of the hotel’s sizable grounds, filled with colorful beds of lantana, and the country side beyond. Breakfast included a nice selection of hot and cold items, light on whole grains and fruit, but great little flakey pastries. Pain au chocolat, yum! They also serve dinner, but we didn’t try it. In room Wi Fi is available free of charge.

Restaurants

Trattoria dei Templi
Is a Frommer’s listing located just north of the Valley of the Temples on Via Panoramica 15.  A cozy rustic trattoria, similar to those of Erice with an arched-brick trimmed cave like ceiling, white walls and casual furniture. The service is both friendly and efficient and the food good traditional Sicilian. To start we had the zuppa di cozze (mussel soup), not really a soup at all, but perfectly cooked mussels in a rich fish broth, and a plate of smoked swordfish. For the second plate we had the grilled mullet, two small grilled fish served whole, one laying across the other forming a X on the plate, tasty but not the easiest fish to eat – bony with tough skin; and the fish of the day served in a tomato based sauce with Sicilian flavors – onions, capers and olives. The wine we chose, another Nero d’Avola, this time from the Morgante winery, was an intense bold chewy wine, a little much for the fish but yummy none the less. For dessert we treated ourselves to pistachio semifreddo, an ice cream type dessert, served with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Good flavor but the texture was a bit grainy. Over all good food in a warm casual setting.

Spizzulio
Listed as Tripadvisor’s number one restaurant in Agrigento, located just north of the Valley of the Temples on Via Panoramica next door to Trattoria dei Templi. This is a very, very small restaurant with the owner acting as host, server, cook and bus boy. If you are lucky enough to be the only patrons in the place it is probably worth it otherwise expect long delays.  We didn’t actually eat here deciding that it wouldn’t be worth the wait under the given circumstances. Click here for the full story.

Caprice
A Lonely Planet listing located on Via Cavaleri Magazzeni  south of the Valley of the Temples in San Leone. A huge dining room with a view of an impressive pond with live swans. We actually did not eat here as the place was completely empty and we didn’t want to dine alone in such a vast space.

Leon d’Oro
Listed in both Lonely Planet and Frommer’s, located at Viale Emporium 102. The Frommer’s description of the place, however, is more accurate stating that the restaurant building, uncomfortably close to the main thoroughfare entering San Leone, was formally a car repair garage. The interior is pleasant enough, a casual dining room decorated in a warm yellow with wooden furniture, if not a little harshly lit. The food is good although not excellent as Lonely Planet proclaims. We had the smoked fish appetizer, good but the smoked swordfish at Trattoria dei Templi was better; Sicilian pizza, thin, crunchy, chewy crust with lots of onion and anchovy; cavaletti pasta with fish and a basil pesto; and the mixed grill – branzino, shrimp and calamari, perhaps a little overcooked but branzino is a very forgiving fish. We were recommended the Planeta, Santa Cecilia, a Nero d’Avalo, tasty and a much better choice with fish that the Morgante from the night before as it was much lighter and not as chewy.

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