Palermo – Mondello – two restaurants with a sea view

Food tastes better with a view I always think and in Mondello there are a couple of places I know where you can enjoy beautiful sea vistas while eating delicious food. You’ll both both marked on my map of Mondello. This first restaurant especially is a very happy travel memory for me…

Al Gabbiano (Intermediate A), 1 Via Piano Gallo, Mondello Lido,

From the terrace of this restaurant in the evenings, you can get a wonderful view of Monte Pellegrino in the fading dusk. The last of the sun’s rays light up the glimmering ferries leaving the port Palermo in the distance and the lapping of the waves is only disturbed by the occasional fishing boat chugging past.

Charme wine

This photo was taken in 2009 from the far corner table on the outside terrace by the water. To bag it ideally you need to reserve or arrive as soon as they open at 7.30. There is an inside terrace too where you get the same view but through windows. Al Gabbiano is actually the sister restaurant of Biondo in central Palermo, a famous place I dissed to death for poor food and rude service at the time! The waiter was a little unfriendly again but this time the view and the food made up for it.

Al Gabbiano

To start I had the Piato Mediterraneo which involved a raw oyster, marinaded anchovies and red prawns, and a frittura of squid and larger prawns (A). The pasta course was Casarecce alla Cernia e Pomodorini (A), a sublime sauce of grouper and cherry tomatoes served on a chunky pasta. I washed it down with a bottle of wonderful, slightly sparkling Charme, a white from Paceo. With a Macedonia fruit salad, the final bill came to €48, expensive at the time but well worth it for such a blissful experience!

I went back again in 2010 and found contentment once more with four oysters (B+), followed by their signature Spaghetti al Gabbiano, mussels and clams in tomato sauce (A), and Zuppa di Cozze, mussels in tomato sauce with four slices of fried bread (B+). To drink, a bottle of Leone white wine, a perennial favourite (A). The bill came to a reasonable €46. The service was much friendlier this time, perhaps because it was lunch time and they need the custom more.

I didn’t go in 2021 as I had so many other places I wanted to try, including this next place…

Alle Terrazze (Intermediate B), Viale Regina Elena,

This posh restaurant is located on the terrace of the Antico Stabilimento Balneare di Mondello, the Stile Liberty pier halfway along the beachfront that looks like a wedding cake.

It’s very popular and I found it quite hard to get in, although a bit easier at lunch time. It was being used as a film location when I was there which made it harder.

It’s pretty snobby with a tyrant of a Maître D, and snooty waiters in white tunics with silver buttons, but it’s still worth a visit for the unique views you get of the bay.

The food is nice and well presented (B).

Please see my post on Mondello architecture for more shots of the Stabilimento.

Some more posh restaurants next…

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