Monday, April 12, 2010

Dinner at Ferdinando's

I've been hesitant to write about Ferdinando's (151 Union Street, between Hicks and Columbia, 718-855-1545) because I like to think of it as my little secret, even though the likes of Martin Scorsese has eaten there and lots of people know about it, but it's just so damn good I can't help but sing it's praises. It will also always have a spot in my heart because I went here on the day I got my braces and my mouth hurt so bad I could barely eat. The waitress brought me my first rice ball and said it's what she gave her son when he got his braces because it's so soft and tender. Well, I'm happy to report that the Arancina Special is still as delicious as it was that first day I had it.

On this most recent visit I ordered the Rice Ball with meat and peas, covered in tomato sauce and cheese and topped with thick and creamy ricotta cheese. The mushy consistency of the rice is so comforting and the slight bite of the ground beef and peas fills things out. It's decadent and amazing and I could eat one every day.

We also got another Ferdinando's classic dish, a Panelle sandwich. A chickpea croquette topped with a gigantic dollop of ricotta cheese plus grated Parmesan on a big, fluffy roll. The Parmesan isn't as strong as I like, but this sandwich is tasty enough without the added flavor. I also took the top of the roll off and ate it open-faced as it's pretty large!

Even though I knew this was plenty of food, my boyfriend insisted on getting a pasta dish. We ordered the Pappardelle alla Boscaiola, hand cut pasta with fried eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. The pasta was fresh, and the tomatoes were large and plentiful, but I'm pretty sure the mushrooms were from a can. It was also a pretty greasy dish, with oil pooled at the bottom of the dish. Probably not the best dish to order. In the future I'll stick with tomato sauces or Parmigiana.

Wait, there's more! I know, it's crazy, but I often say I have an extra little stomach for desserts and I wasn't leaving Ferdinando's without a cannoli. They make the BEST cannoli! Seriously. The pastry part is crisp, the cream filling is thick and slightly almond & vanilla flavored and it doesn't have any extraneous chocolate chips or weird bits in it. It's pure and simple and perfect.

Ferdinando's Focacceria Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Nomi Lubin said...

OMG. Two things: I thought Ferdinando's was my little secret ;). But, the bigger thing is, I can't believe you say you have a dessert stomach! I've been saying that for years. And I'm way older than you. I've never heard anyone else say it. Except my husband, but he got it from me.

And, yes, I actually don't even like cannoli (I know, something's wrong with me), but I eat Ferdinando's.

I love that place so so much .. .

Mister Meatball said...

Wow, that rice ball! Next time I'm down there, definitely on my list. Thanks.

Eat It Brooklyn said...

Nomi - YES to dessert stomachs! And, I'm not sure you're "way" older than me.

Mister Meatball - the rice ball is gorgeous, right? Definitely get one when you're in the neighborhood!

Morta Di Fame said...

oh panelle sammy! i don't like it with the ricotta. it tastes better on its own. oh and rice balls!!! i love that place. its so brooklyn! what about vinnie's on smith? you must love that place!

Eat It Brooklyn said...

Actually, never been to Vinny's! In all my 25+ years in the neighborhood!

Nomi Lubin said...

Oh, I guess I think of you as being 25+ years old, but maybe I'm all wrong . . . maybe you're ancient.

Eat It Brooklyn said...

Nomi - I moved to the area when I was 9, so you do the math!

Anonymous said...

Vinny's is stupid and bad bad food.
Actually I am glad you wrote about Ferdinando's. The more people go here the less it will close down and vanish forever like so many others like it.
Also, you didn't mention the Manhattan Special ON TAP!