In the morning – write Marshall and Catherine – everything’s shuttered in Via Santa Philomena in scruffy, Baroque Catania, but in the evening it’s transformed, the restaurants open and everyone’s sitting at tables in the street. The modern, anglophile Fud, serving burgers, panini and Neapolitan pizzas, is popular with the city’s cool thirty-somethings (this is a university town). By 9.30 on a Tuesday, when we had finished eating there, at a grotesquely early British hour, it was packed and they were queuing outside.
Fud has shrugged off the weight of Italian tradition. The walls are bare concrete and you sit at a plywood bench, where it’s easy to strike up conversation with fellow eaters. If you want to brush up your Italian spelling, read the ironic menu offering Am Burgher, Cichen Burgher and Cis Burgher – or, if you have the bottle, Ors and Donchi. Beers from Fud’s micro brewery include a wheat beer and a blond beer that would satisfy any real ale buff.
The cichen burgher, in a slow-fermented sesame bun, with lightly grilled chicken, Ragusano DOP cheese, onion marmalade, shredded cabbage and rocket, was about as high as the Duomo. The pizza eoliana, also on a slow-fermented bread, had tomato paste, mozzarella, tuna, olive and tomatoes. You don’t have to worry about the etiquette of antipasti, primi, secondi and contorni here: the style is piatti unici – one plate meals – all between €6 and €10. If you like it, as we did, you can buy some of their products on your way out.
FUD Bottega Sicula Catania
Via Santa Filomena, 35
95129 – Catania, Italy
Tel: +39 095 7153518