Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cicchetti Kitchen and Bar

Before my current stint in Seattle's lower Queene Anne neighborhood, I shared a cute little apartment with one of my oldest and best girls. She's since moved on to life as a home owner, living it up in a fabulous townhouse in uber cool Ballard. We see each other a little less now, and the times we get together remind me how much I adore her and loved our little life in Eastlake. Two twenty-somethings who were working hard, going out, eating in, recounting long hard days and laughing over glasses of Sauvingon Blanc from a bottle we bought down the street at Pete's Market (amazing wine selection by the way). I miss it. Saturday morning coffee at Starbucks until better cups came via Voxx, take-out from Siam, our cute little kitchen and a small neighborhood feel.

So for our most recent rendezvous I suggested Cicchetti, the spot that recently opened behind Serafina in our old 'hood. I first read about it here but really wanted to try it after reading this post in which Nancy Leson sang its praises. I fell in the love with the place the second we walked in and must have commented half a dozen times that I wished it had been there when we were living up the block.

We sat upstairs, which has a sweet view of Lake Union and the side of Queen Anne hill. It was crowded but we got a table right away, and the place was filled with a mix of stylish but not overdressed couples, friends and groups of girls. The cocktail list is good-sized and interesting, and the menu is filled with shareable cold and hot plates.

We started with a round of martinis and the rosemary and sea salt focaccia served with Trampetti olive oil before moving on to sharing the soppressata with roasted onion, the Portugese baked clams with spicy sausage and the Moroccan spiced lamb with lentils, garlic yogurt and flatbread. We both loved the lamb. Full of flavor, and the dish's components let us make mini pitas. But I left raving about the bread. I feel like my favorite things are always the simplest. It was warm with a bit of a crunch that I guess was the crust and probably the grains of sea salt, but you could barely tell because it was soft and airy the rest of the way through. Now I suppose I could have just been starving when it hit the table given we opted for a 9p.m. meet-up, but doesn't it look tasty?

The service was perfect too. Genuine and friendly but not overly such. I'm headed back tomorrow night to celebrate a friend's engagement (congrats to the future Mrs. Roberts!) and want to get into their Sicilian orange and fennel salad with black olives and arugula to try to curb a craving I'm having for citrus since eating a blood orange salad in the Bay Area this past weekend.

More on that to come, and in the meantime, Seattle peeps, if you haven't yet been to Cicchetti, I suggest you get on it.

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