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Lyfe Restaurant Reviews Reviews WIAW

Cicchetti #WIAW

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.

Thank you as always, Jenn!

Thank you as always, Jenn!

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.

cicchetti interior suzlyfe

Drinks and Cicchetti

cicchetti drinks suzlyfe

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.

cicchetti starters suzlyfe

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.

cicchetti carpaccio pancetta nonna suzlyfe

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.

cicchetti coffee lemoncello suzlyfe

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!

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  • Reply Heather @fitncookies

    Mmm!! That all looks so good. I’m behind on some blogs but congratulations!! What a huge accomplishment and I can’t wait to hear more about your job!
    Heather @fitncookies recently posted…WIAW: Seven Springs EditionMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 6:43 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! Hey, you have an excuse–you were disconnected for the weekend, which I am seriously jealous of 😀

      June 11, 2014 at 11:47 am
  • Reply Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete

    Looks like Harry and I have a new spot to hit up! Thanks for the review, darling!
    Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete recently posted…Energizer Night Race 5K [Race Recap]My Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 7:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Let me know if you are ever in the area! That is right in my territory 😉

      June 11, 2014 at 11:47 am
  • Reply Heather @ PrettyHealthyMostoftheTime

    No dessert? But really, I’m quite impressed at what someone of your tininess was able to put down – niiice! I’m also jealous because I’ve been wanting to try a small plates restaurant – it looks so fun!
    Heather @ PrettyHealthyMostoftheTime recently posted…WIAW #11: Home AloneMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 8:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I may be tiny, but believe you me I eat a lot. Trust. I just don’t eat a lot of crap, so that helps. I had ice cream later, don’t you worry!

      June 11, 2014 at 11:48 am
  • Reply Shawna

    looks like a really cute spot! i’m a fail for sweet drinks so i usually have to ask the bartender to make me something special (yep that annoying girl for sure). my fave is anything with cucumbers and vodka. yum.
    Shawna recently posted…ohhhh a bunch of workout stuffMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 8:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      They had an amazing cucumber gimlet, you would have been allllll over it

      June 11, 2014 at 11:49 am
  • Reply Carson

    Wow this looks delicious. Never heard of cicchetti but sign me up because it sounds like my kind of food.
    Carson recently posted…Total beach babeMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 9:10 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Italian small plates? HHHHEEEELLLLLZZZZ YEAH

      June 11, 2014 at 11:49 am
  • Reply cait @pieceofcait

    wowza, everything looks fantastic. and the drinks!!! CHEERS 🙂
    cait @pieceofcait recently posted…What’s in your basket? // JUNE makeup editionMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 9:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You’re telling me!!! I wanted another but I was so pumped up with adrenaline I knew that would be a baaaadd idea

      June 11, 2014 at 11:50 am
  • Reply Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles

    OH MAN, I wish I knew about this place when I was in town last week, it looks AMAZING! I am so glad you found a new place you love, that is the best feeling! I LOVE going out to eat, although we don’t get out nearly as much as we did before Ashton!
    Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles recently posted…Focus T25: Alpha ReviewMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 10:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m sure. SILLY KIDS WHY YOU BE KEEPING US FROM GOOD FOOD. This just means that you will have to visit again so that I can take you!

      June 11, 2014 at 11:52 am
  • Reply Mama Salt

    Why is this place not near me? I’m obsessed with it now and I’ve only seen your photos. This all looks amazing and seriously there is no better end to a meal for me than a perfect espresso.

    June 11, 2014 at 11:43 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Literally the best espresso I’ve ever had. Come here and we’ll go

      June 11, 2014 at 11:58 am
  • Reply Brianna @ I run He tris

    I’ve already eaten lunch but this just made me hungry again! Looks like a fantastic experience. My only experience with hospital food was when I was in the hospital to have our son. I wasn’t allowed to eat from 5pm until I had him at 3pm the following day. I was so hungry that I would have eaten anything they brought me!
    Brianna @ I run He tris recently posted…Giving it a triMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 11:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      UGGGGHHH how frustrating I hate having “nothing PO” orders. I don’t do well with that, if you can imagine lol. One thing that I do love about hospitals? they typically have never ending supplies of graham crackers 😀

      June 11, 2014 at 11:59 am
  • Reply Jenni @ Fitzala

    This sounds amazing! Such a fun night to celebrate your new gig! Or de-stress from an interview. They’re always SO taxing. You seem to visit all of the most amazing places in Chicago- makes me want to come back and go on a food tour!

    Also Rogue Hazelnut Brown is one of my husbands favorites. I didn’t know they had made it all the way over to IL! I think they’re based in Oregon. Those meatballs look amazing. So does the bread. Always need me some bread 😉
    Jenni @ Fitzala recently posted…Health & Fitness of a Trainer #16My Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 11:48 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh and this bread would not disappoint. You need to come here so that we can go to Nico and get some of there bread. That beer was fantastic. And you know me, when it comes to food, I do my homework! #tinygirlfatappetite

      June 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm
  • Reply Courtney @RunningforCupcakes

    You always get the most amazing sounding drinks!

    I was in the hospital for 4 days and barely ate. I was pissed I was there and pretty much went on a hunger strike. I even said no to sugar cookies, that’s when you know something’s wrong!
    Courtney @RunningforCupcakes recently posted…Peanut Butter Cookie BallsMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 12:23 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      um. saying no to sugar cookies? I think that is reason to put you INTO the hospital!!

      June 12, 2014 at 8:54 pm
  • Reply Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants

    I am loving all today’s WIAW posts and now I want ALL the food 😀
    Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants recently posted…Little Things to LoveMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 1:18 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Omg I know. I usually work out right before lunch but now that I am work, I am falling prey to the “reading WIAW right before lunch” trap. Cue stomach growling.

      June 12, 2014 at 8:55 pm
  • Reply Katie @glutes and ladders

    This food looks amazzzzing. The sad little Australian town I live in does not have delicious places like this so I haven’t gotten to eat delicious food like what you had since I was in Spain in March. 🙁

    June 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Well then I think that you need to get the sad little Australian town to step up its game OR ELSE! I would love to go to Spain, specifically Majorca

      June 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    All that food (and the drinks!) look amazing. That sounds like the kind of place I would love.
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Last Week’s Workouts: 6/1-6/7My Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I loved the juxtaposition of the super complex (the drinks) with the super simple (the food itself) and both done to perfection!

      June 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Wow – that all looks amazing! Nothing like this in Salt Lake :(. Will have to remember if I’m ever back in Chi-town.
    Sarah recently posted…Unexpected encounters with wildlife………My Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 9:43 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Well you need to get yourself over here so that I can take you out!

      June 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm
  • Reply Jill

    I love tapas but I had no idea there was an Italian version of them, and hello, IM ITALIAN!!! Haha you learn something new every darn day don’t you! The food looks amazing. I am addicted to olives (for real). Oh and congrats on your new job. I love how it seemingly randomly fell into place. The best things in life always have a way of doing that don’t they 😉
    Jill recently posted…10 Essential Life LessonsMy Profile

    June 11, 2014 at 9:52 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I totally agree on how the best parts of life are those that you are so completely thankful for but have no control over, but still have worked hard to set yourself up for. And, Jill, you should be ashamed!! Haha, I will let it slide this time. There are I’m sure southern regional specialties that I don’t know about, or at least terms for them. Maybe.

      June 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm
  • Reply Sarah Rosenblatt

    Stop it…. I am drooling. I need to come visit Chicago so you can take me to all these amazing restaurants. Also so I can see all the architecture, because I’ve never been to Chicago and as an architect find that shameful…. but also ZOMG ALL THE FOOD YOU WRITE ABOUT.

    Also, I never got around to saying it before because I find it such a pain in the butt to comment on blogs from my phone, but CON-GRAT-U-LATIONS on the job! I’m so happy to hear that it came around in such a randomly fortuitous way. I hope it turns out to be a great fit for you (note: not hoping that you’ll be great, because I know that you will be, but more hoping that it’s great for you) and am SO SO excited for you!

    Now send me some of that focaccia, STAT.

    June 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It is shameful that you have not been to Chicago. Please fix that? We can go geek out like the awesome people that we are. And thank you thank you thank you. It really was the most random thing, but so far–I LOVE it. It seems to be hitting the right notes with me–a little bit of everything.
      We seriously need to be breaking bread together. It has been far too long.

      June 12, 2014 at 9:03 pm
  • Reply Fulfillment , Philanthropy, and Summer Running Survival #treatyourself | Suzlyfe

    […] Delicious Alcoholic Libations (Ciccetti) […]

    July 1, 2014 at 10:05 am
  • Reply Cicchetti, Bellwether, Benchmark #Wiaw | Suzlyfe

    […] Cicchetti, round 2. Read about Round 1, the day of my job interview, here! […]

    July 23, 2014 at 5:14 am
  • Reply Cicchetti and GF Triple Chocolate Protein Muffins - Suzlyfe

    […] Alex, as he had to work) when to everyone’s favorite small plates place, Cicchetti (posts here and here). I’m going to cover it pretty quickly because we got several repeat dishes, which […]

    August 26, 2014 at 5:40 am
  • Reply My Beloved Cicchetti is Closing and other Heartbreaks (Thinking Out Loud)

    […] First, we went there when I interviewed for my job. […]

    October 16, 2014 at 5:35 am
  • Reply Family Weekend In Chicago! #MIMM - Suzlyfe

    […] laundry everywhere), the hospital campus, and our area a little. Dinner at Cicchetti (visits one and two) rounded out the evening and was delicious as always, even though a bit different without […]

    October 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm
  • Reply Cicchetti, Bellwether, Benchmark #Wiaw - Suzlyfe

    […] Cicchetti, round 2. Read about Round 1, the day of my job interview, here! […]

    October 27, 2014 at 2:55 pm
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