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“Atmospheric!”

Trattoria Ai Normanni
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Ranked #18 of 1,879 Restaurants in Palermo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $62
Cuisines: European, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Palazzo Reale
Description: Mediterranea
Reviewed February 16, 2012

Very old-school with formal service and a chef-owner who has clearly won lots of awards and lots of photos with local dignitaries. Despite upmarket feel food was good value and very well made.

1  Thank David O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 61 of 378 reviews

Reviewed February 10, 2012

I have reached that age when the government pays me a modest monthly honorarium in grudging thanks for fifty years old underpaid under appreciated service to the state. Wishing to mark this event we took ourselves to Sicily for a few days. This was partly to enjoy a little warm respite from a cold Venetian winter and partly to taste again the lovely Sicilian food. We had two restaurants in mind, Trattoria Mafone and Trattoria Normanni. The former we could not find and so it was a search for the other. This proved easy to find and outside same is a rusting metallic knight, in honour no doubt of the huge Norman fortress that looms over the road. The restaurant is approached across a small courtyard and although it was open at the lunchtime we decided to eat there in the evening. The menu outside looked interesting and we liked the sign saying that if you did not eat there you would never know what you had missed. Ignoring what could be a double edged meaning we walked there at seven o'clock. If you have never walked through Palermo at seven o'clock on a Saturday evening you have a treat in store. It is like being in the middle of a friendly good natured riot where every person in the city has been changed into a thirteen to seventeen year old. Noisy, boisterous, lively is an understatement, mad house to be more realistic; an Italian passegiata on acid. So we walked past street theatre, break dancers, street musicians and all God’s plenty. So to the restaurant. We were the first there, had a courteous reception and so had a choice of tables in an attractive mirrored room. There were three marble basins on the wall which seemed unusual but by each one was a ring. Perhaps this had been a stable for the fortress over the road. If it wasn't it made a nice thought. I ordered gamberone grilled and my wife mussels Palermitano. They were both first rate. The mussels in particular had that hint of chilli that southern Italian cooks seem to judge just right, and a smidgen of tomato. They were quite simply incredible and of course there was a rich soup left to be mopped up with the shells and the accompanying bread. My prawns were delicate, soft and with just the right amount of spice covering them.
For a second course my wife had fresh pasta whilst I was seduced by the grilled lamb. The said lamb was cooked to perfection my wife's pasta was something else. My wife had a home made fresh ravioli stuffed with grouper fish and this again came with capers, baby squid, cozze in a beautiful presentation. It was, she said, the best meal that she had eaten since Trattoria San Giuseppe in Siena eight years ago.
Not having a sweet tooth I usually end with the main course but when the gentleman wheeled the sweet trolley in and we saw the arrayed goodies it was too much to resist. I had chocolate and my wife a torta of pistachio and ricotta. There followed two caffè, a Marsala and a grappa. So three courses for two people, water, three quarters of a litre of red, two caffè and two digestivi and a bill for €88. I cannot recommend this restaurant highly enough. The setting, the quality of the food, the presentation on the plate, the ambience, service and reasonable nature of the bill speak for itself.

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1  Thank absalomLucca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2011

Trattoria Ai Normanni is situated not far from the Normanni Castle,or from B&B Porta di Castro where we stayed. We passed it several times, thinking it looked ike a typical tourist-trattoria(big knight in armour outside the restaurant). A very rainy night however we didn't want to have to go too far, so we went for it.
The Trattoiria was small and cosy,and almost completely full. Mostely thanks to a scicilian family throwing a dinner party for their newest addition to the familiy, a baby girl. Beeing a small resturant, we sat pretty close. A few members of the family knew english, and were very friendly. They invited us to some wine-tasting, and it was really a very good night. Although one feel a bit as invaders, so close to the familiys moving speaches to the newborn one, and their tears of pride and joy. But all in all, it was a really fine feel to it.

The restaurant has a display of the fresh seafood, wich looks lovely.
The only waitor was always in a hurry, without making us feel it. Everything was done both fast and friendly. The housewine was very niceThe main part; the food, was simply amazing!! We shared 2 antipasti, and had one secondi dish each. The marinated sardines, and plate of octopus greek style was mouthwatering delicious.Of the swordfish rolls I had, and the meat plate my husband ate, I would have to say that for I too should have gone for the meat!!! The homemade sausage is simply the best I ever tasted. But, everything was really tasty, well presented and allthough we were thinking the portions looked a bit small, it turned out to be impossible to have another go at the menu... After some coffe and digistivos, however we did have dessert. My lemon sorbet was simply perfect! Not too sweet not too tangy, with a beautiful texture. My husbands pistache and ricotta topped almond- spongecake, was so tasty, that for ones he ate his entire dessert by himself.
All in all, we paid 58 euros for meal(2 antipasti, 2 secondi, 1 tomatosalad, 2 desserts), coffees, digestivos,water, 1,5 litre housewine.
Very happy with the evening! Only thing, I wish we had dressed up a bit. Allthough it is a trattoria, it seems to be a place locals use for more formal parties and dinners.

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Thank BritaF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile
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Thank silvio t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile
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Thank Davide P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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