Feeling like enjoying the Italian sun without actually moving from Paris? Go to Les Amis des Messina, a Sicilian restaurant set in the heart of the Sentier area, supplying a very delicious menu, coming straights from the plains of Palermo. A spot that opened in 2014 by chef Ignazio Messina, coming from Cefalú, near Palermo, after opening a first restaurant that has been making Parisians sing with content since 2001 in the heart of the rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine in Paris 12th arrondissement.
The place has reworked its configuration because of the health crisis and offers a 100% “local” menu based on fresh ingredients coming from Sicily, as well as a delicatessen by the entrance, to shop a bit while waiting for your click & collect. Go for the wide range of pasta – some being impossible to find in Paris – as well as tuna terrines, jars of olives, grissini, and other almond cookies for a flavorful guilty treat.
Moving on to the menu, it includes many Sicilian specialties, some being little-known, but very delicious, for a unique travel to the heart of the island. Note that since the first lockdown, the restaurant has purchased a pizza oven, and serves “al taglio” pizzas (namely, by the cut), to take away for a quick snack, like in Italy. We love the “Les Amis” pizza, created by the chef himself and based on anchovies, lemon zests, bottarga, and basil. And flavors are perfectly balanced.
As for the rest, go for the burrata and puntarelles, an ancient Italian vegetable very rare in France, like some sort of chicory, but far less bitter and perfect in the summer because it is fresh, as well as Sfincione, a sort of slightly sweet Focaccia, very delightful in the mouth, or the grilled Sicilian eggplants, unparallelly fresh. As a dessert, ice creams are out with typically Sicilian flavors, such as hazelnut, pistachio, and “Bacio”, the Italian equivalent of the famous spread. And the icing on the cake, the house’s specialty: the Torta Mamma Lina based on surprising flavors and we let you have the surprise.
Please also note a bar lays in the basement, including an extraordinary wine cellar we will be eager to enjoy once restaurants are allowed to reopen. In other words, a small piece of Italy in the heart of Paris to enjoy in delivery or ordering by phone, as well as in click & collect, to discover asap if not already! And you can still order on site and wait, the house welcoming you like in Italy, as if you were long-time friends… Shall we order, friends?
Les Amis des Messina
81 Rue Réaumur
75002 Paris 2
Métro ligne 3 station "Sentier"
Assiettes dégustation: €6
Le Sfincione: €6
Les Pizzas: €11.5
Les pâtes: €12.5
Ouvert du lundi au dimanche de 12h à 15h et 18h30 à 21h30, en click & collect du lundi au samedi.