Four friends and I had another wonderful meal at La Ciccia tonight. I wish I lived nearby to eat here more often. We shared all our dishes, staring with a special of fresh Monterey sardines cooked in white wine, served room temperature with a shaved fennel salad. An order of the Sardinian flatbread, crispy almost like pappadum with olive oil and pecorino. Clams and tiny squid in vermentino and parsley sauce from the regular menu. These dishes disappeared with a delicious Vermentino di Sardegna "Giunco" Azienda Agricola Mesa, particularly good with the sardines.
We opted for pasta and side dishes, the always wonderful spaghetti with bottarga, the tagliarini with shaved tuna heart which I will always order whenever it appears on the specials, the special of ravioli filled with ricotta and lemon zest with a vibrant fresh tasting tomato sauce ( how do they do this in winter?), and linguine with sole and capers in a savory tomato sauce. Every one was delicious and they each had an individual character and flavor that made tasting each one exciting. I never felt like, oh, more pasta. The veggie sides were a delicious sauteed cauliflower which we thought maybe included sage, and brussels sprouts sauteed with olive oil, salame and pancetta. With this we drank a delicious Sardinian red, the Cannonau-Caringano Bovale Isola dei Nuraghi "S'Arai" A Pala.
After this wonderful meal we shared just two desserts, blood orange sorbetto and the saffron cake with almonds and honey, which went perfectly with a tawny port.
I just love this place, the warmth of the welcome, the vibrant flavors, the lack of pretension or catering to trends. I was happy to see it was bustling with people waiting for the opportunity to savor the flavors and atmosphere. I hope it signifies what i believe to be so—the really good places will weather the ebb and flow of the economic tides.