Thursday, July 13, 2006

DiCaprio at Ferdinando's Focacceria for Scorsese Film

As a big fan of Ferdinando's Focacceria at 151 Union Street in Carroll Gardens/Red Hook, Gowanus Lounge was amused to learn from newyorkology that Leonardo DiCaprio has been onsite shooting Martin Scorsese's The Departed. If you haven't been to Ferdinando's, you should go, because this little Sicilian place is the real deal--a true taste of ungentrified Brooklyn that serves excellent food. The speciality here is the Panelle sandwich--deep-fried chickpea flour served on a house-baked roll with some of the best ricotta in New York City, topped with grated cheese. (If you really want to carb up, there's also a Panelle with potato.) We get Panelle cravings from time to time. They're that good.

Newyorkology quotes Historic Shops & Restaurants of New York about Ferdinando's thusly:
In 1904 Ferdinando's Focacceria opened in a Union Street storefront just three blocks from the waterfront, specializing in the little sandwiches that were sold by street vendors in the open-air markets of Sicily. For decades, the restaurant served up this Sicilian comfort food even as Red Hook began to decline along with the local shipping industry. Despite the intrusion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in the 1950s, a devastating blow to the neighborhood that isolated the shops from their customers, Ferdinando's remained in business.

Today, Frank Buffa, only the fourth owner of the focacceria, tends the place he inherited from his father-in-law. A little old country, a little New York, Ferdinando's is a beautifully preserved gem, with its vintage tile floor, pressed-tin ceiling and marble-topped tables.
Thanks, Leo and Marty, for giving GL a reason to write about Ferdinando's and reminding us that we need our Panelle fix.

(The photo above is from newyorkology.)

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