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“Superb hidden gem” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dioniso

Dioniso
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Ranked #13 of 619 Restaurants in Syracuse
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $16 - $59
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Cash Only, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
96 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Superb hidden gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2014

You'd never know it was here if you hadn't been directed to it - up an alley, then another alley - but Restaurant "D" is a gem of a find.

We went there on our honeymoon as our special meal, a classy alternative to the range of excellent trattorie.

Run by an ex-Petrus (London) pastry chef who has returned home to open his own restaurant, the menu is short and to the point, with fresh local ingredients prepared to perfection. It's the off-menu choices that really steal the show however, as they're cooked just from what's good at the market that morning.

Our selection - calamari and spring greens, battered and fried sardines, squid-ink linguine, pasta naturale, swordfish and calamari stew - were all cooked to perfection, generous portions brimming with flavour and texture. We couldn't fault a single dish. As you'd expect from a former chef de patissière from a Michelin-starred restaurant, the desserts were stand-out: pannacotta that was just slightly wobbly, deeply vanilla and melt-in-the-mouth, and an excellent Bavarian cream on top of a rich pistachio base.

The service was attentive, friendly and chatty from all the staff, and everyone spoke excellent English (and Italian, German, etc). The wine recommendation was spot-on, matching both our dishes and our preferences. The owner stayed to chat with a number of tables, creating an atmosphere as if you'd walked into someone's living room - helped by the house dog, Pedro, an old Beagle who stays away from diners unless they beckon him over.

This place rivals far more expensive restaurants (in Ortigia and beyond) in providing value for money in terms of the food and dining experience. It's not necessarily cheap (although not eye-wateringly expensive, either!), but it's absolutely worth it.

In short, please go! This could be your chance to find a new star of a chef (and restaurant) before everyone else does.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TashInKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,054 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    683
    232
    75
    49
    15
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
62 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“A fabulous meal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2014

I must agree with all the reviews here which give Dioniso top ratings. The owner was so warm and friendly and explained all the dishes on the menu especially the local specialties and the very fresh fish selections. We started with an artichoke appetizer and a grilled squid salad (which I'm still dreaming about). For mains we had a fabulous red tuna dish and an excellent snapper stew. The bread was so good and the olive oil had spices in it which made it especially good. Our desserts were a ricotta mouse flavored with orange and cinnamon and a vanilla panna cotta. A fabulous meal and a wonderfully enjoyable evening.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank sethsean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Genoa, Italy
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good food and personal care”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2014

At Dioniso restaurant is like dining at friends'. Small and cozy you have a menu selection which is deliberately limited to privilege quality and traditional recipes. Helpful owners very knowledgeable about territory's cuisine and vines can suggest you the best food choice. Special care for guest during the meal. Not for kids.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Fzerb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, West Virginia
Level Contributor
126 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“One of the Best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2014

We ate here at the recommendation of our hotel proprietor, which turned out to be great advice. Dioniso is located on a narrow passageway near the west side of Ortygia, and was a little difficult to find, but well worth the effort. We were greeted by the owner shortly after being seated. He took pride in describing the menu offerings and how fresh they were, help which was both engaging and welcome. The staff was friendly and spoke some English, which helped.

Although we had never eaten sardines, the owner urged us to try them, so we did. The beaded sardines appetizer was unforgettable - great taste and the size of Gulf shrimp. I had the sea bass entrée, which was also very nice. We asked for a local wine, and the owner suggested a nice paring from the foothills of Mt. Etna.

There are two rooms for seating and the atmosphere is very casual, as is the pace. We found the unhurried pace suited us perfectly after a long day of travel from the U.S. Be sure to seek this place out if you are planning a visit to Ortygia.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank R S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aix en Provence
Level Contributor
76 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Hotel recommended restaurant….”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2013

We were rather disappointed with this restaurant. We were sent there by our hotel as a lot of restaurants were closed on a Sunday.I had specifically said we did not want a touristy restaurant. When we got there……English at every table. I had Dorade in salt…..I couldn't eat it! Very dry, overcooked. I also overheard someone at the next table complaining about her dorade! They noticed only when they came for the plates that i had hardly touched the fish. They did want to replace it….it was a little late as my husband had finished his meal.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Meg44AixenProvence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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