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“Wonderful and the real old Palermo” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lo Scalino del Cardinale

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Lo Scalino del Cardinale
Via dei Bottai, 18, 90133 Palermo, Sicily, Italy
(+39) 091 331124
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Ranked #912 of 1,255 Restaurants in Palermo
Price range: $13 - $39
Cuisines: Italian
Good for: Local cuisine
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful and the real old Palermo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

I am surprised by the other reviews, having had an astonishingly tasty meal at a fine restaurant.

This is a place that does not look great from the outside, but venture in and you will find wonderful Sicilian food. The involtini is sublime and the best you will taste in Sicily.

This is a family run restaurant, and is all the better for that. Go after 9 pm when it's starting to warm up and the atmosphere starts to buzz.

Forget the tourist traps that surround it. This is the real thing and it does not cost a fortune. If you want authentic cooking, this is the place. The family are charming - try out a little Italian here, however basic. It goes a very long way!
The owner is a great guy, very charming, the food is superb. Order well, ask advice, you'll have a great dinner. The key is to ask IN ITALIAN if they speak English, respect their culture, and they will reciprocate with delicious food, and a lovely old-fashioned politeness and respect for the customer.
We were introduced to the family, and had a really great time.
I know 20 words in Italian but was complimented and enjoyed it immensely. Clearly this is a restaurant for travellers who try, not tourists.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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18 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    4
    4
    4
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Munich
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Da dimenticare - Forget it”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2011

We have been strolling around Piazza Marino on our last day in Palermo not knowing where to go for our last dinner. In via Bottai we saw this restaurant, in front of which a young lady animated us to enter. Just as is usually the case in a red light district, the pizzerias close to Piazza Marina seem all seem to have a person trying to lure people into THEIR restaurant. Now we know why. We were the only guest on that eventing, the restaurante next to ours was still empty when we left at 9:30. We had a dish of pasta with swordfish and a cous cous with fish. Imagine a menu with more than 60 positions and only two guest on Friday e vening. How fresh can that food be. OK the noodles were no prob although I prepare tem better myself at home. And the cous cous was simply microwaved otherwise it would not be possible to serve a frish of freshly prepared fish for just one person. I can absolutely not agree to what my co-critics mentioned before apart from one thing: Nothing did really match. The salad we had was the most boring I ever had in my live: canned corn, some tomatoes and green salad, the olive oil was from the supermarket and the place itself has seen better times. This place dearly needs a piece of modernization both in terms of cooking and renovation. I cannot recomment it at all. The service was not even fast considering that we were the only guests. I am afraid this is due to the fact that they had to take the cous cous from the deep-freezer

  • Visited November 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
1 review
“Excellent meal for a reasonable price”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2011

We accidentally stumbled into this restaurant on a late Monday evening after unsuccessful attempts of entering some of the top-rated TA restaurants in Palermo (on Mondays, many restaurants seemed to be closed). The place was cozy and clean, and pretty crowded when we arrived.

For the starters, we had bruschetta, a cocktail of prawns with mayo, and clams in a soup of herbs and tomato mash. The prawn cocktail was only average but the clam soup (zuppe) was absolutely delicious.

For the main courses (secondi piatti), we had stuffed swordfish rolls with grilled vegetables (eggplant, tomato and potato (!)), and swordfish with potato slices, tomatoes and olives. Both were delicious.

As we didn't have any first courses (primi piatti) or desserts, nor any wine, I am not giving any opinion on them.

The service was extremely slow, even after the place started to become empty of other diners, but it was friendly enough. As a curiosity, there is an elderly lady (perhaps the owner) sitting there all the time, overseeing the staff and writing bills (maybe also doing book-keeping the 1900-century way for all I know!).

All in all, Lo Scalino del Cardinale was a pleasant surprise, surpassing even the experience we had in Rome a week before in a high-rated TA restaurant.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Magnificent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

That place is simply magnificent. Food, service, place, stuff, and of course the price You pay for all that is more than reasonable. If I ever be back in Palermo, I will definitely go there!

  • Visited August 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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