Try a true slice of Italy at Palermo
By Loulou Chryssides
Try a true slice of Italy at Palermo
What does one really look for when trying a new restaurant in the neighborhood? While everyone’s personal preferences are different, there are a few basic ingredients that separate a great restaurant from a good one: quality food & drinks, attentive service, and a comfortable atmosphere. All of the above ring true for Palermo—a truly fantastic slice of Italy in Astoria.
Living and working in New York City, it seems as if there is an Italian restaurant on every other corner of all five boroughs. And who could blame potential restaurant owners for wanting to open an Italian restaurant? The food is delicious and popular in all corners of the globe. But as with most things in life, sometimes too much of a good thing makes it lose its luster. . However, Palermo is the prime example of what all restaurants should strive to be; that is, someplace where diners can be comfortable and enjoy good food. Personally speaking, I have been planning my next visit to Palermo before I even finished my meal, which is something I realized after visiting is not something I do all too often. It was just that good.
Opened in February 2014, and located at 23-92 21st St., Palermo was created by the Zoto family in response to their deep love of Italian cuisine. When the family located a space with their ideal vision, complete with a brick oven, they decided it was the perfect time to pursue their passion for quality Italian food. Each recipe at the restaurant is a family recipe, and that love of family translates not only to the food, but to the environment of the restaurant as well. Daughters Andriana and Kristi both work at Palermo and are both equally attentive and responsive to customer inquiries and general conversation—which is refreshing to see at a busy NYC-based establishment.
To start, popular dishes include the clams oreganata ($11 individual serving, $28 family style), that were baked to perfection, along with a focaccia ($5) and the burrata ($14) which was just about the freshest burrata I’ve had the pleasure of eating outside of Italy. To accompany my starters, a classic Negroni ($11) which was the ideal beverage to last through the entire meal.
For the main course, the dish that stole the show for me personally was the cheese ravioli with a pistachio cream sauce ($15 individual serving, $38 family style). The pairing of a sweeter cheese with the texture of the slightly saltier pistachio cream sauce has left me dreaming about that dish since I left Palermo. Other standouts are the pizza margherita ($12 for 12”, $16 for 16”) and the penne alla vodka with pancetta ($15 individual serving, $38 family style). For the pizza lovers, an assortment of toppings are also available ranging from pepperoni, Kalamata olives, mushrooms, and even pineapple for an extra $2.50.
Palermo is superb when it comes to its dessert course as well; there are a variety of delicious options for diners of all palettes. For something more simple, try either the homemade plain tiramisu ($8) or if you’re feeling slightly more adventurous, the Nutella tiramisu for $9. However, Palermo’s most famous sweet concoction is the Nutella pizza with bananas, strawberries, and powdered sugar ($16 for 12”, $20 for 16”). It was the sweetest ending to a great dining experience, literally! For coffee lovers, Palermo’s cappuccino ($5) is also an outstanding sweet treat to end your meal.
For those looking for a quality Italian meal close to home with attentive service, delicious dishes, and a family feel, take a trip to Palermo!
Special offer: Mention GMA and receive 10% off your check. (offer ends: Jan 31st 2019)
Where: 23-92 21st St.
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 12:00PM-11:00PM