“Il Vicolo Cieco - Worst restaurant experience in my 10 times in Sicily, more of a cul-de-sac!”
Do not go to this restaurant not even if your life depended on it!
After a lovely evening visiting the Valley of the Temples, we asked the hotel receptionist to call us a taxi to take us to Agrigento centre for dinner since parking at 22:00hrs would have been a nightmare.
When the taxi came, we specifically asked the driver to take us to a "Sicilian restaurant" and not to some touristic joint. We were duly dispatched at "Il Vicolo", which is a charming enough place as the dining area is situated in a terraced alley brightly lit. The place was brimmg with diners and there was no free table in sight but, after a couple of minutes, the manager-owner-whatever conjured (literally) a table from nowhere and added it to the ones which were already in the alley and invited us to have a seat.
As soon as we were seated, we noticed that the diners behind us (an Italian couple) was complaining that the fish served to them was raw. From a cursory look I gave the remains of their fish in their plates, I could indeed confirm that it was undercooked.
Be that as it may, I thought it might be a stroke of ill-luck. It happens even to the most seasoned cook sometimes. So, I just waited - quite patiently - for the delivery of the menus.
Upon opening the menu, I realised that we were in a tourist trap. First of all, there were pictures of the dishes on the menu. As Gordon Ramsay once said, nothing screams horrible cooking more than pictures on the menu. There are exceptions, of course, but this place did not seem to be one of such exceptions.
Anyway, our orders were eventually (after 20 minutes) taken and we settled back to savour what we were still hoping would be a lovely meal. However, we noticed that people were walking out, without even waiting for their mains. Our neighbouring table cancelled their order for mains, left a 50 euro bill on the table and simply walked out. We gathered that their starters were so bad and the wait so long that they just left.
At any rate, after an hour our pasta (first course) had not yet materialised. The manager-owner-whatever, being quite a showman, was, to the point of nausea, apologising continuously but it was useless. Patrons - and we - wanted our meals not apologies.
At any rate, after 75 minutes from placing our orders, the starters finally came. My husband's alla Norma was tasteless. Now, how can anybody get that simple yet normally-bursting-with-flavour dish wrong beats me. My pasta of the house (something Il Vicolo) was without any identity - could have been anything. We had to add copious amounts of grated parmesan to the dishes to make them slightly palatable. Our mains came some 20 minutes later and were okish, something you would expect in some third-rate pub in London and certainly not in Sicily.
We were so let-down that we didn't even accept to be offered a liquor after the meal. We couldn't wait to leave.
So, to sum it up: Slow service, tasteless food and a showman for a manager/owner.
One last thing: on opening the menu, one was greeted by the A4 picture of a "chef" duelling with pasta on a stove and the photo was captioned "Perfekt (sic) pasta". I would re-caption the photo: "Perfekt nightmare". Never ever ever go to this restaurant.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.