We’re not shy about our fondness for the muffulettas and cannoli at Sebastiano’s, the Pacific Northwest-meets-Sicilian deli and bakery in Montavilla. Just a few short months after its opening in June 2020, we named Sebastiano’s one of Portland’s Best Restaurants in our Fall 2020 issue. Now, Elise and Dan Gold, the duo behind Sebastiano’s, are gearing up to launch a food cart in May that’ll run in the deli’s parking lot on weekend afternoons, serving up spritzes and Sicilian street food snacks.
With the new cart, the Golds will have more kitchen space and room for an employee or two—the couple currently churns out muffulettas on house-baked bread, cannoli, brioche, focaccia, hand-pulled mozzarella, cookie assortments, olive oil cake, and Wednesday night suppers all by themselves. That means that the cart will offer a whole new menu of Sicily’s favorite snacks: arancini, or fried balls of risotto stuffed with a rotating filling; stuzzichini, a.k.a. grilled meat skewers; and cartocci, a close relative of the cannoli consisting of ricotta filling encased in a fried, braided brioche, rolled in cinnamon sugar. If you’ve been a fan of the cannoli at Sebastiano’s, prepare yourself for the excitement that is cartocci.
“I favor that over the cannoli,” Elise says. “I mean, cannolis are good, but when we had cartocci [in Sicily], I was like, ‘Whaaaat?!’”
The Golds plan to serve spritzes out of the cart—essential for a true Italian aperitivo experience. And while Sebastiano’s has been takeout-only since its opening, the Golds plan to transform the parking lot into a patio with around six tables, giving guests a taste of what Sebastiano’s will look like in a post-COVID future.
“Through at least the summer months, that gives us an opportunity to build community safely outdoors and have some fun, small bites,” Elise says.
In the meantime, if you’re looking to try some new offerings from Sebastiano’s, look out for the brunch box offering in collaboration with Olympia Provisions on Saturdays and Sundays starting this weekend, March 13—March 28. Olympia Provisions is contributing Sicilian-inspired savory dishes like salt cod scacciata, Etna salami, marinated ricotta salata, and a citrus-caper-red onion salad, while Sebastiano’s focuses on the sweeter side with blood orange curd brioche, a pistachio tart with housemade marmellata di arance, and almond pasticcini cookies. There’s also an option to add on a caffe corretto cocktail. Those interested can place orders on Tock.