Saturday, July 22, 2017

last night in Sicily, letdown turns into fun at 'NNI FRANCO U' VASTDDARU (7-21-17)

We had intended to go to a modern Sicilian restaurant which was truly gorgeous when we arrived, but was fully booked and it seemed my reservation was for 2 nights earlier. They said they couldn't accommodate us (the place was empty) so we moved on to a local street food spot a couple of blocks away that folks we knew said was fun.
I think the 'nni is Sicilian for nonni (grandpas) and assume that when started Franco and Vastddaru ran the place. Now it's a bit old style and tacky with tiny plastic cups for the water and small plastic plates for eating. The napkins were small squares of waxy paper.
Samuel loved the panelle (chick-pea fritters) we had at the Duchess' several days earlier so we ordered a plate of those and they were fabulous. A bit greasy, but with tons of character and flavor to boot.
Will ordered a Forst local beer (3,50Euros for 2/3 litre!) and he liked it. I was blown away by the red house wine which costs 2 euros a glass or 3,50 per 1/2litre!!!! (that's a tad over $8 a liter!). I did get a wine glass for the wine as Will got a big glass for the beer. Samuel had several of his favorite Polar Spuma sodas he has come to adore.
We had to order our last Caponata, and sadly it was nowhere near as good as the one we had made at Planeta's cooking class; at least I have that recipe. Does ANYONE know where we can get FRESH CAPERS in DC???
Will and I had seen the street stands through Palermo selling Milza, which is spleen, cooked on site and sliced fresh into a into a panini. We ordered one to split with some shredded cheese on top, fearing it might be too way out, but loved it. The texture is somewhere between mushrooms and schwarma, yet it has tons of flavor and was a nice treat.
Samuel ordered a panini caprese with fries and the sandwich was loaded with oozy cheese and was so big he couldn't finish it.
Will and I finally split the Polpette di Vitello which was  basically a slightly overfried schnitzel veal ball. They were slightly dry, but that was quickly modified with some fresh squeezed lemon.
It was a fun evening and we got to bed early, which was important as we had to rise at 6am to leave Sicily this morning. I am on my way home and the others to the UK to visit family.
Our only regret about this place (and others) is that so many folks smoke outside you could choke trying to eat. What is worse is that many adults smoke and blow tons of the smoke into their childrens' faces every single day. I guess second-hand smoke is not considered a problem there; I knew I couldn't stand it if I lived there. We also noticed that cigarettes are still sold in machines all over the place, so that any minor can get them without a problem, which explains why so many young people smoke. I am so sorry for these people, especially the woman next to me last night who ate her panini as she smoked a stinky cig! YUK! Rant over.
Oh the whole meal with 1.33 litres of beer, 3 sodas, bottled water and .6 litre of wine was 36 Euros or $42!
Headed home after an amazing culinary journey.