It is tough to open a restaurant at any time, but it’s especially tough during a pandemic. Still, the owners of Sweet Sicily in Downtown Sunnyvale felt that when the opportunity presented itself, it was simply too good to pass up.
“My father is a career watchmaker and my uncle is the one who has been in the [restaurant] field for his whole life,” said Giorgia Foresta who translated for her father Sal Foresta. “They jumped at this opportunity during this time because they thought it would be a good idea to balance each other off and learn how to actually build up what we call a traditional Sicilian restaurant. So, get the crew in, somebody who could help us out, and actually get the gist on how this all works.”
When Il Postale on Murphy Avenue closed earlier this year, the perfect location for Sweet Sicily became available. On July 31, Sweet Sicily opened its doors to offer authentic traditional Italian cuisine.
Co-owners Sal Foresta and Saverio D’Anna know a little something about authentic. Six years ago, they and their families arrived in the Bay Area from Sicily.
“[My uncle was] basically in this field for 40 years,” said Giorgia Foresta “He had a restaurant in Italy which was very known to the public. So, he’s been working, creating his own recipes based on what the people like and his own experience.”
Menu items at Sweet Sicily include classics like ossobuco, gnocchi and carbonara as well as plenty of seafood. Ravioli Lobster is served with an entire lobster tail, while Rigatoni Pompei features octopus in red wine.
There’s also a sweets counter that highlights authentic Italian pastries. So far, the food has been well received.
“We’re very happy about how people responded because we didn’t expect such a positive response,” said Sal Foresta through Giorgia. “In reality, what we have found out is that it’s not as much as the Sicilian community [supporting us], we found that there is an Italian community coming over and even much more an American community who loves Italian food who comes to here and tries us out and has an enthusiasm for what is our cuisine.”
In addition to all the trials and tribulations that come with opening a new restaurant, Sweet Sicily’s owners have also taken on the precautions to make sure the food is safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We follow all the protocols. Everything is followed. Everything is kept clean,” said Sal Foresta through Giorgia. “We are also scared ourselves about what’s going on. So, we try to make it as safe as possible and if it feels uncomfortable for them to leave home, we want to bring a taste of Italy to their own home.”
The restaurant offers delivery through DoorDash and is also available for takeout. Sunnyvale’s Downtown Association has created parking spots for easy pick up from all of the restaurants on Murphy Ave.
Sweet Sicily is located at 100 S. Murphy Ave. in between Istanbul Hair Salon and Satellite Coworking Space. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Monday.