You'd never know it was here if you hadn't been directed to it - up an alley, then another alley - but Restaurant "D" is a gem of a find.
We went there on our honeymoon as our special meal, a classy alternative to the range of excellent trattorie.
Run by an ex-Petrus (London) pastry chef who has returned home to open his own restaurant, the menu is short and to the point, with fresh local ingredients prepared to perfection. It's the off-menu choices that really steal the show however, as they're cooked just from what's good at the market that morning.
Our selection - calamari and spring greens, battered and fried sardines, squid-ink linguine, pasta naturale, swordfish and calamari stew - were all cooked to perfection, generous portions brimming with flavour and texture. We couldn't fault a single dish. As you'd expect from a former chef de patissière from a Michelin-starred restaurant, the desserts were stand-out: pannacotta that was just slightly wobbly, deeply vanilla and melt-in-the-mouth, and an excellent Bavarian cream on top of a rich pistachio base.
The service was attentive, friendly and chatty from all the staff, and everyone spoke excellent English (and Italian, German, etc). The wine recommendation was spot-on, matching both our dishes and our preferences. The owner stayed to chat with a number of tables, creating an atmosphere as if you'd walked into someone's living room - helped by the house dog, Pedro, an old Beagle who stays away from diners unless they beckon him over.
This place rivals far more expensive restaurants (in Ortigia and beyond) in providing value for money in terms of the food and dining experience. It's not necessarily cheap (although not eye-wateringly expensive, either!), but it's absolutely worth it.
In short, please go! This could be your chance to find a new star of a chef (and restaurant) before everyone else does.