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Impossible to get real SICILIAN DISHES in NYC?

  • s
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Really enjoyed the seafood dishes we had when we were in Sicily. Is it possible to find that in Manhattan? Some of the dishes we had were: pasta con le sarde (sardines), pasta con ricci (sea urchins), pasta Norma (with delicious eggplant), panelle -- or was it panzelle? -- which is fried chickpea fritters.

God, I'm hungry!....

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  1. s
    strong, silent type

    Oh, and involtini di pesce spada (swordfish rolls)..yum!!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: strong, silent type

      I would strongly suggest you do some searching and querying on the Outer Boroughs board. Not only are there mixed opinions on Ferdinando's (personally I think their pasta con le sarde is lousy), but there are other places in Brooklyn that are much better.

    2. I don't know of any such place in Manhattan, but there are a few Silician-style focaccerias in Brooklyn. The easiest one to get to is Ferdinando's on Union St just west of the BQE in Carroll Gardens. I had their pasta con sarde a few weeks ago, and it was lovely. They've got panelle as well, and the famed spleen sandwich. Definitely worth checking out, but only open for dinner on Friday and Saturday.

      1 Reply
      1. re: aaron
        s
        strong, silent type

        Aaron,

        You RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. La Foccaceria (a/k/a Vinnie's), 128 First Ave. just below St. Marks Place, is a downscale place with the best Italian food in NYC. Insulata di mare (seafood salad) is spectacular. I'd take it over Il Mulino's pallid imitation any day. Beef Pizzaioula fairly levitates from the amount of garlic. Rice Balls are wonderful, and Stuffed Pepper is even better. Simple Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil shows how the simplest dish can be ambrosial. And don't forget the truly authentic Vastedi.

        1. Sadly, Ristotante Bussola is no more....the Camaratta brothers, Enzo and Gino, are natives of Siracusa and always had a number of Sicilain specialties on their menu (incl. pasta con sarde) - in addition, Gino made (makes?) some of the finest gelato to be had here in Manhattan.

          1. try Cacio e Vino (2nd Ave, at 4th St)...they have a broad menu which includes many Sicilian dishes...one time there, we were sitting next a group of Sicilian NYC-based expats who were very happy, fwiw...

            1. Actually Leopard, in the space of the defunct Cafe des Artistes, has some quite decent Sicilian dishes including pasta con le sarde, caponata, involving di pesce spada, etc