I met up with Gianni of acrossthehogsback.wordpress.com fame last week fo a bloggers’ night out. We writers need encouragement from one another from time to time and we haven’t seen each other in a while.
In case you haven’t yet realised it, we are both great foodies, although we committed the cardinal sin of blogging…. We didn’t photograph our food!
It was somewhat embarrassing for me when we met because the restaurant I had raved about, and which the internet still showed as being there a few days earlier had gone! What to do now? A quick foray into the depths of the internet wasn’t helping so we started walking and fell upon Cicchetti in Wellington Street. We checked out the menu and decided to venture in.
I’m pretty sure that this restaurant is located on the site of what used to be PJ’s Grill (I loved that place!). It was quite dimly lit, low lighting and candles on the table, with lots of Italian marble about the place. I struggled to read the menu, unfortunately, the language barrier hit when I asked if they had it in braille… Our waiter was Italian and probably new to London. His English is still better than my Italian though.
Our waiter explained (well, maybe the language barrier hit again because neither of us really understood at this point) that the dishes were medium sized and meant for sharing. I didn’t catch the Italian word. but I say again, “Joey doesn’t share food!” And neither do I! And, comfortingly for me, nor does Gianni.
So we ordered what we thought were main courses, having decided to forego starters, and were a trifle confused when our waiter said that we shouldn’t expect both dishes to come up at the same time. Confusion notwithstanding, my risotto arrived first. I had chosen risotto with scallop green peas. It was absolutely delicious, but I was a little disappointed at the size, still not being quite with the programme. The risotto itself was soft and creamy, with the pea flavour in every mouthful, and one large scallop sitting atop it. Divine. Luckily, Gianni’s dish arrived within seconds of mine and the penny finally dropped. All the dishes were meant for sharing. Gianni had chosen one of the specials, a black pasta with tomatoes, I don’t remember the other ingredients, but it looked fab, and she enjoyed it. We both agreed that this wasn’t going to satisfy two hungry bloggers though.
We finished our first dishes and asked for the menu again. This time, Gianni went for the Queen scallops and another pasta dish and I chose the baked aubergine with mozzarella and rocket. The mozzarella was the soft, fluffy kind, and I was absolutely full to the gunnels by the time I’d finished. Maybe that would have been a dish better for sharing…
When we finished our wine and food, we had liqueurs… It would have been rude not to. Limoncello for Gianni and Ricard for me. I haven’t had one of those in many years and it was so refreshing.
What neither of us realised was that “cicchetti” is a Venetian style food, which are small dishes that may be shared, or maybe just for when you want a snack. The restaurant is part of the Signor Sassi group of restaurants, The San Carlo Group, but I think it lived up to the reputation, especially once we realised what was required.
The restaurant also does breakfasts (and I’m pleased to say there is a proper breakfast included in this, not quite a typical full English, but it looks as though it would pass muster) and afternoon teas.
Obviously, there was a lot of chatting going on as we were dining, and Gianni and I have been working out some other places to visit… And to write about. I think I can safely speak for Gianni as well when I say that it is our duty to visit as many fabulous places as possible! Watch this space.
© Susan Shirley 2015