It's called Osteria Ballarò, but with the historic and colorful Palermo market has nothing to do with it. The place is located, In fact, near the Vucciria, the other market in the heart of Palermo, that unfortunately now lost much of its original charm. L'osteria Ballarò is a modern restaurant, spacious, bright. The light, the true protagonist of the furniture, dominates the two rooms, Thanks to a large window overlooking the courtyard stables of Palazzo Cattolica: light wood, magnificent Sicilian ceramics in shades of white and, on the walls, paintings and pictures in rotation of young local artists, to enhance a 360 degrees Sicilian creativity. The first room (wine bar and street food), with the original columns of 1400, is predominantly used to taste the many specialties of street food, accompanied by a local wine. The restaurant room, instead, is reserved for chef and, Obviously, prices go up (Maybe a little’ Too much).
The philosophy of the Osteria Ballarò is based on special attention to the quality of the raw material and on the search for the manufacturer (even tiny) outside of large scale circuits. The cuisine combines creativity in combinations with an eye for the aesthetic impact of the dish, not to mention that it is still an Inn. Then: large portions, in attention to details, with those bright colours typical Sicilian cuisine. In paper: lots of fish but also various vegetarian dishes. There's no shortage of Sicilian meat, especially pork nero dei Nebrodi. And since the raw seafood is the test of quality of raw material, I ordered it immediately: good and plentiful raw proposal (18 euros) consisting of Red prawns of Mazara, shrimp pot, SCAMPI, swordfish marinated in lime and pink pepper, salmon, marinated anchovies and oysters.
For those who want to have a comprehensive picture of the typical Sicilian street food style starters (that means a big meal, that there sorts other food), I suggest trying the traditional schiticchio (9 euro): caponata, fried vegetables, arancinetto sauce, arancinetto goat cheese, potato potato croquettes, sfincione and muffin with spleen. Deserve a particular mention the Sarde a beccafico, served in such a way as to resemble small birds, How does the ancient origin of this dish, and the great Eggplant caponata (11 euros). The portion, proposal as a Starter, is designed to a main course.
Among the ingredients used from Osteria Ballarò Sicilian Presidia are numerous: Pistachio, cappero di Pantelleria, Cottoia beans (Notes because materials used in macco di fave), bean "Cosaruciaru", Nubia red garlic, almonds of Avola, girgentana goat's milk cheeses. The balance between tradition and innovation is also evident in the menu, that distinguishes between traditional and creative proposals. Try the Octopus soft rosticciato on potato cream soup flavored with Rosemary (13 euros) and a thin chopped pistachios.
Among the first courses, I found good spaghetti with shrimp, clams, curly pulp and tomato (16 euros): pasta al dente, tasty shrimp bisque, tasty curly pulp. A first very tasty. In paper, You can also order first courses of fresh pasta, with fish and seasonal vegetables. You can also try traditional dishes: the casarecce with macco di fave (14 euros) and pasta alla norma (10 euro). All are between 14 and 18 euros.
Always among the first courses, I found good traditional pasta with sardines and fennel (12 euros), Although I would have preferred a sauce a little’ narrower. In paper, even a small proposal for Sicilian vegetables soups, at prices ranging between 10 and 12 euros.
Among the main courses, fish is the protagonist. In the menu you can choose between the catch of the day and some traditional dishes, as the fish fry (15 euros), the tuna (16 euros), Grilled shrimps in Mazara del Vallo (20 euro), fish soup (22 euros), or the Aeolian swordfish (13 euros) and the swordfish rolls Palermo (14 euros). Don't go left out the cod to sfincione (14 euros), recipe virtually unobtainable outside the region of Palermo. Between the meat: filetto di maialino dei Nebrodi, the ubiquitous cut and, for those who want to go on the typical, beef Roulades (12 euros).
Wide selection of wines thanks to a careful selection of wines mainly in Sicily, ranging across all denominations of origin and the main production areas. Definitely recommended.
(visited in July 2017)