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Sicily-Catania and Palermo


IEATRIO
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Need to be in Genoa briefly (might have a free dinner if you have a suggestion) but using the opportunity to spend 5 days in Sicily, into Catania (trying to visit the Cornelissen winery), and out of Palermo. Would appreciate any good suggestions for traditional local Sicilian specialties. Trying to avoid touristy and Michelin (not interested in modern or international styles) type places. 

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It's been a good long time since we were there but I remember a great seafood meal in a small restaurant beside the fish market in Catania. I wish I could give you the name - if it even exists anymore - but I'm sure there are many places in that area with excellent seafood. The one we went to was very rustic, run by a powerhouse Italian nonna who was probably there since the day it opened. Such a great town - weird and decrepit but great. The fish market is amazing.

 

 

Edited by Nyleve Baar (log)
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34 minutes ago, Nyleve Baar said:

It's been a good long time since we were there but I remember a great seafood meal in a small restaurant beside the fish market in Catania. I wish I could give you the name - if it even exists anymore - but I'm sure there are many places in that area with excellent seafood. The one we went to was very rustic, run by a powerhouse Italian nonna who was probably there since the day it opened. Such a great town - weird and decrepit but great. The fish market is amazing.

 

 

Thanks. Will certainly be looking for this. Given our very short amount of time I was considering focussing only on Palermo. It sounds like you found Catania worthwhile for a food focussed traveler? Thanks again.

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If you only have a short time, it might not be worth it to try to fit in Catania. As a city, Palermo has more to see and plenty of great food. Catania is smaller and rougher but the fish market is unbelievable.

 

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14 minutes ago, Nyleve Baar said:

If you only have a short time, it might not be worth it to try to fit in Catania. As a city, Palermo has more to see and plenty of great food. Catania is smaller and rougher but the fish market is unbelievable.

 

Thanks for the input. I'm a bit torn. Still trying to set up a visit to Cornelissen and if that works out my decision will be easy. Otherwise, I'm not so sure . . . although you are making it sound as if the fish market alone is worth the effort. Thanks again.

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While we're at it, there are several nice small Mt. Etna wineries that are worth a visit, but you might need someone to make arrangements.  We especially liked Romeo Del Castello, a mother/daughter operation on the lower slopes of Mt. Etna.  

As has been said, Palermo is the better food town, with several street markets selling items that can/should be eaten on the spot.  Growing up in Brooklyn, NY I was familiar with the chick pea fritters, the spleen sandwiches and the various sardines, cheeses and other street food.  But this was freshly done right in front of the stores selling the meats and cheese and the taste was way better.

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14 hours ago, Steve R. said:

Could it be: http://anticamarina.it/en/home/

 

Its in Catania's fish market, is informal and was (is?) very good when we ate there 3 years ago.  At lunch, the fish market is open and its a little loud/bustling.  At dinner, the market takes on a nice glow.

Yes! I think that's it! Very very NOT fancy.

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On 7/19/2021 at 5:12 PM, IEATRIO said:

....Would appreciate any good suggestions for traditional local Sicilian specialties. Trying to avoid touristy and Michelin (not interested in modern or international styles) type places. 

Well, in addition to the requirement that you eat everyone’s “special” rice ball, the chickpea fritters and the spleen sandwiches made fresh at the street market stands in Palermo are not to be missed (yes, spleen).  Also, the sardine dishes.  And the marzipan pastries.

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I have a ton of wineries to recommend for Etna if you decide to go. 

If you go to Catania, I agree about fish market. And I haven't been in about five years, but the pastries (cannolis etc) at Pasticceria Savia were amazing. Not to mention the arancini. 

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I remember a Chef's Table episode cpl years ago featuring a pastry shop in Noto - Corrado Assneza's. If you haven't seen it (Netflix On Demand), I highly rec.  Whether you want or able to get there it's a beautifully shot episode that will get you super psyched for the area in general. 

That wasn't chicken

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