Ferdinando’s Focacceria Restaurant
151 Union St
Walking into Fedinando’s is like walking back in time. Or like walking into an old school Sicilian Grandmother’s kitchen. The food here is excellent. Lots of red sauce, lots of riccotta cheese on everything, simple, honest, Italian Food.
The menu is small but, complete. Little things like sandwiches, salads, and apps, to primi (pastas) and on to a few secondi.
This weekend we were here for lunch and decided to try a few different things from the menu.
We started with caponatina or eggplant salad. Miss A is a huge fan of eggplant and this was a really wonderful version. This was enjoyed by the whole table.
With this we wanted to try the panelle. Chickpea flour fried and topped with sauce and ricotta. These guys were awesome. Love the ricotta and romano cheese on top. Simple honest and inexpensive.. Definitely Italian..
Since the place is a Focacceria, we tried some of the sandwiches.. I have been hearing about this spleen sandwich for some time. Vasdetta as it’s called in Italian reminded me of a chicken liver sandwich. The bread that it was on is perfect. Crispy shell giving way to soft and airy bread. Added a needed crunch to the whole thing.. The spleen was very livery and perfectly cooked.. The sandwich was filled with ricotta.. Very unique to me and rather wonderful.. For 5 bucks, this could really speed up my gout complications rather nicely.
Meatball parm. Again the bread was awesome, as were the meatballs. Best meatball sandwich I have had in New York.
I have been eating riceballs a lot lately. This one was not one of the better ones I have had. It was seriously different than the majority of the ones I have been eating.. In the very Italian tradition, things are fried once and then sit out. If you are in the restaurant when they are frying rice balls, you get them hot. If you are in the restaurant several hours after they are fried, you get them like that. The sauce was hot but, the balls were kind of mushy. Needless to say, half the table loved them, the other thought they were good.
Here was my favorite dish of the day.. Though everything was really good, this was beyond anything else. Currently my favorite plate of pasta in NY. Sardines were excellent, lots of fennel, currants, pignoli nuts. This is like Sicily on a plate. Worth the trip alone. I might be coming back here tonight just for this dish..
Plate of plain on spaghetti which was very good too.
We drank wine by the glass had some coffee and couldnt touch one of the 10 inch cannolis that were coming out of the kitchen. Obviously, they must be amazing considering their love of ricotta..
We walked around a little bit and got wonderful lard bread from Mazzola bakery. Something that needs to be further explored.
The prices are great and the food is even better. A must try.