Because I can’t seem to stop talking about the new job, let’s talk about the night after the interview–not only because it will keep me on topic but also because HOLY BALLS BATMAN this place is incredible.
So as I walked out of my interview and called Alex, I declared that I NEEDED A DRINK. It took a bit of waffling, both on location and on attire, but we finally decided to try to go to Cicchetti, a hot spot big deal restaurant focusing on northern Italian cicchetti (small plates) that opened up a few months back and that I have been dying to go to.
The space is rustic and elegant at the same time–people were there in suits, we were dressed more causally. Service was above and beyond. Not pushy, respected our space, well informed, and delightful. They made it feel like it was a treat to serve us.
Drinks and Cicchetti
La Padrona CH gin, st. germain, strawberry-rhubarb consumme, rhubarb bitters
My favorite drink, maybe ever. Slightly (about a 6 of 10) sweet but the gin lent a slight floral quality and bite. LOVED the strawberry and rhubarb. Layers upon layers upon layers of flavor. And you get to eat the flower. I wanted 10 of these.
Green Dragon Punch green dragon tea, fresh squeezed lemonade, smith and cross rum, jamaican bitters
Also fantastic, and truly interesting and intriguing. The green tea wasn’t overpowering–as it might be if a macha was used–a little sweet, some sour, a hint of spice and bite from the rum, and I don’t know what jamaican bitters are, but they are a-ok in my book.
Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar
One of my new favorites. Nuttiness of the hazelnut, and maybe some sweetness from it as well, medium body, not bitter, not sweet, just really great. Reminded me of the Goose Island Honkers Ale or the Nut Brown Ale. Another I would order again in a heart beat.
Warm Roasted Olives with Focaccia and Spreads giardiniera, kumquat marmalade, european buttter with Maldive sea salt
I ended up eating the giardiniera with the spoon. No shame. And picking the Maldive sea salt off the butter. No shame. The olives were beautiful–delicate and cured perfectly. I had when cured olives are over-brined, or too oily beyond the olive itself. Great variety too. And I LOVED the kumquat marmalade. I would lovvvve to put that on some ice cream, now that I think about it. Sweet but also a little savory, perfectly balanced. THE BREAD OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I DIE. Fluffy, airy but also crusty perfection with sea salt on top. The only bread that it comes in second to is that of Nico. But, to be honest, the fresh (not table) bread in Italy wasn’t as good as the focaccia at Nico.
Shaved Spring Vegetable Salad shaved asparagus, spinach, fresh peas, light parmesan dressing
Crisp, fresh, and helped to appease my rumbly tummy. Great shavings of parm, loved the watermelon beets, and the fresh peas and asparagus were spring perfection.
Aged Hanger Steak Carpaccio crispy cauliflower, sorrel, raisin caper aioli
Really beautiful–perfect carpaccio, the aioli and the pieces of salt gave it some lift, the sorrel was a great accompaniment and LOVE the shaved cauliflower chips. Mmmmmm. Think sweet potato chips from the microwave, but roasted cauliflower. Delish and a great foil.
Handmade Pizza aged provolone, pancetta, pickled red onion
To be truthful, I pulled off some of the provolone and gave it to my friends ;), and they even left it, we were all so stuffed. But I ate all the other components–the pancetta was thinly sliced, almost see-through and SO GOOD. And mmmmm picked red onion. And the sauce was fantastic. And the thin crusty flatbread was PERRRRRFECT. I would order it again in a heartbeat.
Nonna’s Meatballs pancetta tomato sauce, ciabatta
HOLY BALLS. Literally. The perfect blend of pork and beef (I believe)–delicate and slightly sweet, no filler. I wanted to bathe in the tomato sauce, and the pancetta chunks in there were fantatsical. The ciabatta was excellent, but I liked the focaccia better, to be truthful. But that is like comparing Hank Aaron to Babe Ruth or Joe DiMaggio. You ain’t gonna go wrong.
Cafe Americano, House Limoncello, Cafe Cappuccino
And the end of the meal. True, perfectly done Italian espresso. And PERFECT foam on the cappuccino. Apparently, Cicchetti likes it when patrons are drunk–they bring around limoncello to round out your meal! House made grain alcohol is whereitisat. Ermigerd.
Basically. ERMIGERDERMIGERD. It and Nico are tied for fave at the moment, but this is a stone’s throw from my apartment. Next time I want the Venetian Seafood Stew, but I will have to convince Alex to help me out. That will be a TON of food. I CAN’T WAIT.
I think this sets the bar for hospital food, yes?
Any experience with cicchetti?
How about some funny hospital food stories!