Two foodies going to Palermo
We are going to Palermo in October. I have never been to Sicily, so would love to know which places we should not miss, restaurants, up-scalee restaurant for a birthday surprise dinner? Wine bars (we LOVE Italian wine!), markets, the lot.
We are renting a little apartment so home cooking can be considered as well. I found all I need on touristic attractions, now need some help on the food and drinks side :)
Wine - if you like meaty (as in full) reds then find a nero d'avola and drink it. I've tried lots and have yet to find one I've not enjoyed, granted some are better (lots) than others but I like the grape - it's then down to price.
We were self catering this time last month and my father decided whilst shopping that we had to try the 1.50euro bottle in the supermarket - it was better than the 8.00euro bottle we had that night - a little rough around the edges but honest.
Particular favourites include;
Duca di Salaparuta (make)
Suor Marchesa - Passo delle mule
Duco Enrico (possibly the most expensive wine to come from Sicily so that one should be special!)
Triskele (this is a nero d'avola/cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend)
Azienda Agricola di Milazzo (make)
Maria Costanza (first drunk at Sant Andrea - yum)
and others but I don't remember the name!
one of these is a blend but as you can get these in the UK (with difficulty) I tend not to drink them when there as there are others to try.
I tell a lie, I have had one bad bottle - it had a very pretty lable that was an old map - now what was that called!?!
I haven't been to Palermo in 6 years (spending more time in SE Sicily) but at the time I truly enjoyed Osteria dei Vespri (Piazza Croce dei Vespri beneath Palazzo Gangi of the famed ballroom scene in The Leopard). The squid stuffed with ground toasted almonds and oranges was amazing. Some traditionally-minded Sicilians have told me that they don't like it, but I found it my favorite in Palermo.
Another chef who visited recently recommends:
Antica Focacceria San Francesco
Antica Trattoria Franco u Pescatori
Don't miss Foccaceria San Francesco ( http://www.anticafocacceriasanfrancesco.it/ ) Near Vucciria.
Also, Mondello is worth an off-season visit. Great seafood at Da Sariddu e Figli, which is right on the square. Bye Bye Blues ( http://www.byebyeblues.it/ ) (in a residential neighborhood) is worth checking out for it's interesting menu.
Sant'Andrea was fantastic in January/February, I only wish we'd found it on our first night as we wouldn't have bothered to go elsewhere.
We did Cibus for lunch a couple of times (see another earlier post for details) you get a ticket when you walk in and at the back they cook pizzas or there's a buffet (sort of) or deli counter where they will plate you up ham/cheese etc and staple the bill to the back of the ticket then you pay on the way out. They have a pretty good wine selection in the 'supermaket' attached. Only problem is that Palermitan's go there for lunch as it stays open so your best bet is to go early or late as there aren't many tables. They also vac pack so, we (naughty) brought some salami etc back with us.
The markets in Palermo can't be missed from Vucciria through to the other one - you can't miss them and the Sicilian ingredients cannot be bettered. We found that the fruit and veg (and fish) was best further from Vucciria going away from the sea front - can't remember the market name! If you start at one end of Vucciria and keep walking you go through some dodgy clothes stalls then to an even rougher bit of town - that's where you want to shop!
Back from Siracusa 10 days ago, I am jealous.
I pasted this from another post I made.
These are some restaurants rec's from the 2005 Touring Club of Italy Guide:
Gourment Bar Viale Strasburgo 235 (closed Sun)
'A Cuccagna* Piazzale A. De Gasperi 19 (closed Mon)
Cucina Papoff Via Isidoro la Lumia 32 (closed Sun)
Friend's Bar Via Brunelleschi 138 (closed Mon)
Osteria dei Vespri Piazza Croce dei Vespri (closed Sun)
Palazzo Trabuco* Via dei Bottai 24/28 (closed Monday)
Regine Via Trapani 4/A (closed Sunday)
Dal Maestro del Brodo Via Pannieri 7 (closed Sun)
Kursaal Kalhsea Foro Umberto I 21 (close Sunday and Mon eve)
Mi Manda Picone Via A. Paternostro 59 (closed Sun)
* starred in the guide
They say very good things about Santandrea
Palermo's a great city to eat in.
Last time we were in Palermo, our best meal was at Sant'Andrea, where we left ourselves in the owner's hands, and they came through with flying colors. Of the others listed above, the only one I'm familiar with is A Cuccagna, which we walked out on when we were presented with a spectacularly over-priced menu apparently designed for any tourists who wandered inside. This was admittedly over a decade ago, tho.
there is so much good food in palermo, that it's fairly hard to go wrong. but if you have a car, or don't mind a trek or taxi ride, and are looking for an extravagent but entirely casual meal for one night, i'd highly recommend "LO STRASCINO". they had the MOST unbelievable appetizer/buffet table i've EVER in my life seen. www.lostrascino.com . i ate marvelously there, and it cost close to nothing!