Sicily native Dario Di Falco originally came to Taiwan on a short-term business assignment. However, after falling in love with this island, he informed his colleagues he would be staying longer-term. A search for a new business venture, a longing for cuisine from his homeland and his years as a professional chef led to this little bistro offering a genuine Italian ambiance and, as his slogan notes, “real Italian food”. “I wanted it to be like my home, a friendly place where people come in and I cook for them, a place where customers know who I am and feel free to interact with other customers,” he says.
The cozy interior has 12 table seats, five bar seats and a mural of Mt. Etna, an active volcano overlooking Dario’s hometown of Catania. In May he marked the restaurant’s fifth anniversary with a new menu, adding vegetarian and other dishes to old favorites, all fresh-made (not frozen) almost completely with imported Italian ingredients. A new limited-quantity appetizer is Fresh Burrata Cheese (NT$469), air-shipped weekly from the southern Italy’s Puglia region. This joins Sicilian street-food favorites, Arancini Sicilian Stuffed Rice Balls (NT$419), crunchy cooked risotto balls stuffed with a meat-cheese-tomato ragu sauce; and Sicily Cipollina, baked pastry dough wrapped around onions, parma ham, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Using his handmade pasta or imported Italian dry pasta, Dario’s eight pasta dishes include Sicilian Norma Pasta (NT$369), featuring eggplant, tomato sauce and olive oil topped with parmigiano cheese; Lasagna with Sicilian Ragu (instead of the usual Bolognese sauce) made with his grandmother’s recipe; the new Ravioli with Spinach and Ricotta (NT$429); and a weekly Chef Pasta special. Other flavorful traditional dishes include a Scacciata spinach, cheese and meat stuffed flatbread; Italian-style ribeye and fillet steaks; and a new Sicily Special Panini (NT$349), filled with deep-fried eggplant, cheese, parma ham, olives, oregano and greens. Desserts include Panna Cotta, Tiramisu, and Tiramisu Cake (with 2-day advance order).
There’s an all-Sicilian selection of 12 red and nine white wines, plus Sicilian and other Italian beers and liqueurs, from limoncello to grappa.
Hours: Wed-Thu 5-10 pm, Fri 5 pm-12 am, Sat-Sun 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 5 pm-12 am (closed Mon-Tue)
Cash only. 5% service charge.
27-5, XiangShang Rd, Sec 1, West Dist