Monday, April 13, 2009

Ferdinando's Focacceria

47. Ferdinando’s Focacceria
151 Union Street (Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn)

I know that when my friends and I go on food tours, we aren’t exactly what the restaurant owners want since we take up space and only order a couple of items. Knowing that we aren’t going to be the night’s biggest customer makes it all the more appreciated when servers and owners go out of their way to maintain the same level of service as if we just spent a fortune (I’m looking at you Café Katja and JoeDoe). To say that the owner of Ferdinando’s Focacceria was welcoming is an understatement. After explaining that we were there for the panelle (of course), he began telling us about how he moved from Sicily and engaged the group while we waited for our food to be ready.

Ferdinando’s Focacceria is another spot that makes the TONY list worth it. It’s a place I would never have traveled to but what they serve is worth going even further than the 45 minutes or so that it took us to get there. The panelle sandwich ($5) which is no small item, is made using deep-fried pancakes made with chickpea flour (panelle) topped with fresh ricotta cheese and served on a home-made toasted Italian roll. The crispy panelle acts as a perfect balance against the creamy richness of the ricotta while I could think of no better vehicle for transporting food to mouth than the soft, warm homemade bun. As if to show that Ferdinando’s is no one-hit-wonder, the potato croquettes ($5) were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a likening to hash browns done wonderfully. Ferdinando’s offers an inexpensive, filling and delicious meal and I will certainly be coming back soon.

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