While on a recent Mediterranean cruise with mediocre food but great ports of call, my husband and I asked our travel guide in charming and historic Palermo, Italy, to recommend a local restaurant for lunch. She suggested Il Mírto e la Rosa in the heart of the city. It was a culinary treat with generous portions at bargain prices for Italy (lunch specials 10 to 12 euros, about $13.50-$16). The starter was a ball of puréed eggplant sitting in the most delicious tomato sauce I have ever tasted, followed by an al dente pasta with fresh local tuna and ending with a panna cotta with a berry sauce for dessert.
Il Mírto e la Rosa, 30 Via Principe di Granatelli, Palermo; 011-39-91-32-4353, http://www.ilmirtoelarosa.com.
Aviva S. Monosson