We headed to the heart of Covent Garden to check out the Italian restaurant, Cicchetti, which opened its doors this September. The food at Cicchetti is procured from the best producers in Italy, such as Bottarga from Sardinia, Burrata from Naples, Culatello from Parma and Autumn white truffle from Alba. If you’re looking for a taste of authentic Italy or a reason to drink like an Italian, Cicchetti’s menu and wine list are two of many reasons to try it out.
Join The Crowd
Cicchetti is a bubble of familiarity. From the inside jokes and double-cheek kisses you can be sure that the staff get to know their customers. Each face that walks through the door and passes the bar seems well-acquainted – considering it opened its doors just a couple of months ago, having regular guests is impressive. This Italian restaurant has brought the flavour of rustic Italy to London with charm.
Enter this warm and inviting restaurant and you’ll immediately feel the unanimous presence of wine through the corks covering odd walls in their hundreds. The wood is made to look like bottle corks, while the drape-like lampshades provide a tranquil setting for the evening. The robin-egg blue seating, tarnished mirrors and a show-stopping window display of meat and cheese add to the visual beauty… A comforting and homely place to dine.
Italian authenticity is wrung into every crevice of the restaurant through language. It’s as if you’ve got mini Italy packed into one of London’s most travelled hotspots. Most of the staff is Italian and revel in using the language while serving you. My waiter for the evening was Bruno, who explained the origins of dishes in great detail with an Italian word here and there.
Taste Of Italy
The food itself was served as small tapas dishes (notable from its namesake – cicchetti means small snacks), each one in an impeccable display of Italian style. I tried the Arancini balls with risotto and cheese, which helped sway it away from any dryness. The wine list is expertly matched to the dishes – light white Falanghina wine from Sardinia complemented my starters and main dishes perfectly with its subtle flavour and is now a firm favourite. Most of the tapas come in pairs on white plates and rustic wooden platters (£10 per dish approx). The chicken Caesar salad was served with an unexpected dressing of melted pecorini cheese; and the ravioli, again with pecorini cheese and black truffle, is simply delicious!
For dessert, I was treated to chocolate ice cream going up in Sambuca fuelled flames, a tasty end to the meal, after which a shot of a palette cleansing Limoncello made me somewhat nostalgic of my recent year in Italy.
San Carlo Cicchetti, 30 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7BD
020 7240 6339 – www.sancarlocicchetti.co.uk