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Authentic Siclian?


I'm looking for an authentic sicilian restaurant in Manhattan for a birthday venue. We want something properly siclian not NY Italian. Any suggestions?

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  1. I can never understand why proper Sicilian cooking has not made the same inroads as cooking from the mainland. It has a much deeper grasp to the soul of Italian cooking in my eyes....though I might be slightly biased.

    One of the few I know of is Carino's on 2nd Ave btwn 88th and 89th (on the east side of the street). It's worth considering; they have the traditional double toasted breadcrumbs.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bocce

      I've lived nearly across the street from Carino for more than 4 years now and have never been. Always wondered why it's rarely mentioned here (good or bad).

      Anyone know if they take credit cards?



    2. The chef is Don Pintabona at Dani Restaurant. But, again, he has made it clear that he is not trying to have a Sicilian restaurant. He has many culinary experiences in his background (I can highly recommend his book, The Shared Table)- but that he is just trying to bring these many influences and inspirations to his menu- not to try to recreate any sense of authenticity. If you're just looking for an excellent restaurant- I can recommend this place. If you are looking for a true Sicilian restaurant, you might want to look elsewhere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: markabauman

        thanks and i hear ya. nice website and very appealing menu. the book title sounds very, very familiar but i do not recognize his name. i think one of my friends must have the book. thanks for the reco.

      2. He was the chef for many years at Tribeca Grill.

        1. Thanks for all the tips. It's so strange that sicilian food hasn't made many inroads in NYC. I'm a New Yorker who lives in London these days...it's all the rage there. Wanted to take my parents out for a special treat. Well, I'll look into the places you've suggested.

          1. You could say that about any Italian regional cuisine, though. Almost all Italian restaurants in New York present a sort of generic version that mixes dishes from all over the country (often applying the puzzling "northern Italian" label). Where's the great Ligurian restaurant in New York? Or the one featuring the delicious food of Calabria? Even restaurants that take on regional names often have one or two dishes on their menus from the area (see I Trulli), and then the rest is generally Italian. My theory is that true regional Italian cooking would be too limited for Americans, who are used to a broader range of choices in a restaurant.

            2 Replies
            1. re: scrittrice

              The great Ligurian restaurant in New York is Cinque Terre on E. 38th. OK... maybe "great" is too strong, but it's pretty darn good and certainly devoted to its region.

              1. re: Yaqo Homo

                Love Cinque Terre! I agree that "great" may be too strong but it really is solid restaurant and I've never had a bad meal there; and I've had the pleasure of having had many there.

            2. Well put. Friends have often recommended a "Tuscan" restaurant whereupon looking at the menus one could often only find a couple of truly typical dishes; everything else was from all over the place-probably just to play it safe. A couple of years ago we found a Sardinian restaurant in Boston- don't remember the name, but it appeared-at least from my book knowledge of their cuisine- to be pretty authentic. Don't know if it's still there.

              1. Today's Dining section mentions a Sicilian restaurant on the upper East Side that might be called Agata and Valentina.

                1. Haven't seen the dining section yet. Zagat, for what it's worth, lists it as "Sicilian"; was just looking at their menu online. I might be hard-pressed to call it authentic Sicilian.

                  1. Cacio e Vino. It is from the same owners as Cacio e Pepe and is located on 2nd Ave around 4th street. I think the owner is Sicilian and this is his casual wine bar/Sicilian restaurant.

                      1. What is Sicilian anyway? is it arancini? greek? italian? african? pasta ala norma? bottarga sauce? spicey chocolate from Modica?

                        Anyway, there's a "Sicilian" restaurant on Union Street in Brooklyn - Fernandos - where you can get a good spleen sandwich.

                        The old "Sicilian" place on First Avenue and 7th Street closed.

                        1. 7th and 1st in Brooklyn? I ask because I know of no such place that was at 7th and 1st in Manhattan.

                          1. Pan:

                            Manhattan at 7th Street and First Avenue (between 7th & St. Marks?) I think it was called "Focaccaria" or something.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: hellgate

                              OK, I know what you're talking about now, and yes, it was between 7th and St. Marks. I thought the Focacceria just moved a few blocks north somewhere. I wouldn't have thought of focaccia as particularly Sicilian, though.

                              1. re: Pan

                                The menu at the reincarnated Focacceria actually didn't offer focaccia. It did include arancine, seafood salads, pasta con sarde, vestedde sandwiches and other Sicilian stuff. The place went under just a few months after opening, unfortunately.

                            2. There's been discussion today on the Outer Boroughs board of an old Sicilian neighborhood in Brooklyn, if anyone is interested.