Six by Nico restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh are set to go back to their roots, with a menu inspired by Sicily.
Starting on Monday 7 September, diners can look forward to a six course tasting menu that captures the flavours of Sicilian cuisine.
The Sicily menu will run until Sunday 18 October.
Sicilian cuisine combines Arab, Greek, French, Spanish and North African influences along with a range of classic Italian flavours.
Fans of Six by Nico may remember the first Sicily menu, which was created off the back of a trip chef Nico Simeone and his team took in 2018, before introducing the theme to his Glasgow and Edinburgh restaurants.
The new six course tasting menu includes, arancini, which consists of cacio é pepe and egg yolk jam, red pepper and smoked mozzarella, spinach and Gorgonzola and pickled walnut.
This is followed by Sicilian lamb, served with aubergine caponata, olive tapenade and lemon gel. Hazelnut ragu, created with saffron pappardelle and aged Parmesan follows this course.
Finally diners can tuck into seabass served with fregola sarda, cherry tomato puttanesca, caper raisin dressing and crispy cavolo nero; followed by porchetta with salsiccia, pickled fennel, mostarda and pistachio crumb.
For dessert there is a Sicilian lemon tart served with basil sablé, creme fraiche sorbet, red wine gel, crystallised pine nut and rosemary.
Speaking of his latest menu, chef Nico Simeone said: “In 2018 our team spent time on the Italian Island soaking up the scenery and tasting some of the best food in Europe.
"Raisins and saffron crop up in the island’s most famous dishes, and cooking techniques differ from those found on the mainland.
"As we re-visit this theme in 2020 with a brand new Sicily menu for customers old and new, we look forward to showcasing these inspirations with a flavour-filled menu.”
“From perfect Porchetta to Arancini, Sicilian food is world-famous but many will be very surprised by just how varied and diverse Sicily’s cuisine is - it’s a veritable melting pot of flavour.
"Whilst much of it is clearly Italian, there are some commonly used ingredients that clearly stand out and this is what our guests at Six by Nico will discover on our new menu.”
In these unusual times, we are all becoming used to leaving home with our mask and, for me, a bottle of sanitiser in my hand bag.
Six by Nico in Finnieston has always been snug, but don't worry if you're booked to go, as social distancing is being adhered to with masks required on entry and (lovely smelling ishga) hand sanitiser on all tables.
Any dietary requirements or dish swaps are noted by the friendly staff before the six course feast begins.
We opted to dive straight in with the moreish arancini - a favourite was the Gorgonzola and pickled walnut. This course is served without wine but we were still savouring the juicy gin and grapefruit aperitif.
Swiftly we moved on to the Sicilian lamb served with aubergine caponata and olive tapenade and the veggie option of aubergine caponata followed by hazelnut ragu, created with saffron pappardelle and aged Parmesan - another favourite.
Finally we tucked into seabass served with fregola sarda, cherry tomato puttanesca, caper raisin dressing and crispy cavolo nero (my top dish); followed by porchetta with salsiccia, pickled fennel, mostarda and pistachio crumb.
The wines which were expertly introduced and explained in detail by our waitress, were mainly all from Sicily apart from a rose and deliciously different dessert wine (with a rebellious heart), both which hailed from Piemonte.
Each dish was flavoursome and a modern take on the history of Sicily - with a nod to Arab, Greek, French, Spanish and North African influences seen in the area.
While many of us may not be able to travel to Italy this year, the latest menu from Six by Nico will definitely transport you there in spirit
Bookings are now open and available from noon, and Six by Nico is open from midday, Monday through to Sunday.
The menu will be priced from £29 per person with the option to enjoy a wine pairing for an additional £26 at each restaurant.
As ever, there is a vegetarian alternative available for every course, as well as Sicilian inspired snack sides.
Sicily will run from Monday 7 September to Sunday 18 October 2020 at Six by Nico Glasgow Finnieston, Glasgow Southside and Edinburgh City Centre.