In New Orleans, DiPietro Means Delicious
Tom Fitzmorris August 16, 2019 10:10 Dining Diary
After the show Friday we went to Fausto’s, which has been serving delicious Sicilian style Italian food to Old Metairie for thirty years come December. Fausto DiPietro and his brother Rolando are part of the same family that has been opening and closing and selling and moving great Italian restaurants for well over 40 years. Their sister, Irene, was featured in an article last week on nomenu.com. She is the Irene of Irene’s, the wildly popular French Quarter eatery.
All three of these DiPietro’s are part of a larger group that includes older sister Renata and Mike Zuppardo, another well-known Italian name around town. Mike and Renata had Renata’s in the Seventies. This fascinating history of immigrants-make-good in America will be chronicled later in nomenu.com. Trust us, these are interesting people.
Fausto and Rolando Served lunch and dinner of traditional Sicilian and Italian food, with a nod to New Orleans. Like red beans and rice as a lunch special on Mondays. Or the lunch special fried seafood platter on Fridays. The menu for both lunch and dinner is extensive, with the eggplant dishes, various involtini (rolled), and lots of pastas with cream sauces, garlic and olive oil, and the prettiest marinara around, according to Mary Ann. I like its flavor. She does too.
This time, Mary Ann was not especially hungry, but I was. She got the Siciliana Salad, again, declaring it among the prettiest she has seen. It had Italian meats rolled into either discs, or shaped like rosettes. Loaded with Italian olive salad, this pleased MA greatly. I ordered the arancini, (pictured) which I love here. It is enormous, and sits in a large puddle of the intensely red sauce here. Inside is starchy arborio rice filled with peas and tender ground meat and cheese. Extremely tasty, this is.
Mary Ann was overcome with the excitement of pasta, as she sometimes is, and ordered a pasta aglio olio, and I got the dinner fish special. It was pan-sauteed and parmesan-crusted drum with big lumps of crabmeat on top over spinach in a wine sauce. I love this dish no matter the fish, and get it often here. The sauce is exactly the right consistency and is a little spicy.
Fausto serves a unique garlic bread. It’s almost a hybrid breadstick, This is good, and covered in garlic, with a pleasing butter or oil shine to it. I always fill up on this.
This restaurant reminds us of some in Italy. Small, cozy, with murals and pictures on the walls. There is a cove that was once outdoors that has been enclosed and has two tables. One four-top and the other larger. We sat there.
After dinner, Fausto came to visit, and did what all good Italian hosts like to do. He offered us homemade Limoncello. Mary Ann cringes when this happens, because she is not a drinker, and this stuff is serious even for people who are. Fausto was proud of his wife’s Limoncello, and offered the recipe, which included Everclear, as all of them do. How else does the taste of paint thinner come through?, as MA likes to joke. Then he told us about taking his Limoncello to Brocato’s where they make him a few gallons of gelato. Now Mary Ann was interested. Fausto went to the kitchen and came back with two servings of this. Delightful. Mary Ann was impressed with this and thought the creaminess of the gelato masked the Everclear for her. I agree, it was delicious.
530 Veterans Blvd Metairie
Mon-Th Lunch 11-2:30pm Dinner 5-9
Friday Lunch 11-2:30pm Dinner till 10
Saturday Dinner only 5-10