Seattle >Cicchetti Kitchen and Bar
make a meal of the pretty small plates of food while enjoying tasty cocktails!
Great spot for small bites & cocktails, & if you enjoy your drink, consider checking out their excellent monthly cocktail classes. Learn how to make your own specialty booze infusions at home!
Amazing Bar & Bartenders @ Cicchetti.
A friend and I visited the restaurant for the first time this week, and by the time she and I left we were both immensely impressed by the knowledge, skill and good graces of the two bartenders (Dale and Kristen) who served us – and by what they served us.
While the cocktail menu is terrific, I was at a bit of a loss in making a quick selection. So instead I vaguely described what I was looking for – and was immensely pleased with what I received in return. I was also impressed that it was something not even on the regular menu – that an extra measure of care was taken to meet my personal “need.”
For five or six more drinks (apiece), my friend and I continued to order cocktails with little more direction than “the same, but different.” What we received was a wonderful lineup of diverse cocktails (we were never served the same drink as each other) with a range of different alcohols and ingredients, none of which we’d ever had before (let alone heard of). Each was artfully described upon serving, often with a note about the drink’s origins. And all were delicious in their own individual way.
I was also impressed at how seriously Dale and Kristen took our open-ended requests, often consulting with each other and carefully constructing beautiful new drinks. They were also perfectly amiable and attentive, without being over-friendly and “omnipresent.”
While I travel somewhat frequently (often to “bar-centric” cities like NYC, Miami, Tokyo, Singapore, San Francisco, etc.), I can confidently say I have never had as good and memorable and satisfying an experience at a bar as I did the other night at Cicchetti.
Cin Cin! Specialty Cocktails & Small Plates.
Chicchetti is Serafina’s sister small snacks and cocktails bar. They are literally room-mates, as the bar is directly behind the restaurant of Serafina, separated only by a small outdoor patio. Walking in to Cicchetti, you are immediately greeted by the beauty of the bar, and that is where the magic happens. Although their wine list is astute, and their tap offerings nothing to shake a stick at, the cocktails are very much the superstars of the bar. If you are a bourbon connoisseur, make sure and mention that to your server or bartender, and they will not only suggest which cocktails from their veritable book of a cocktail menu, but they are happy to concoct one on the fly if you are in the mood. I profess to love the Black Rose, a deceptively delicate dance of Cynar and Scotch. Their small plates of chow are not to be overshadowed; the chickpeas studded with brilliant salsa verde and pleasantly chewy pieces of octopus is a stand-out dish. Other favorites include the fresh rosemary and sea salt focaccia with ridiculously addictive Trampetti olive oil, and the house cured guanciale, fontina and thyme pizza.
The upstairs boasts tiny views of Lake Union, and the downstairs is pocked with romantic tables for two that can be pushed together to include friends. Or enjoy the engaging bartenders and belly up to the bar! Definitely one of my favorites in Seattle.
Focaccia was the Standout of the Evening.
We were in Venice this past autumn and after hearing about Cicchetti were excited to try it. We found a table upstairs and while it must have been one of the quieter spots in the place it was still loud. To the point that most every word spoken to our party of three was followed by a loud "WHAT?" And no, we're not all hard of hearing.
We started with the fresh rosemary and sea salt focaccia with olive oil. The focaccia was honestly the standout of the evening. Perfectly light with just enough heft to it and it soaked up the olive oil nicely. The rosemary flavor was delicate and the occasional crunch of the sea salt was perfect.
Next we tried the Oven floor cheese with fresh bread. The bread turned out to be pita triangles. I tried the cheese without the bread and while it tasted quite good, it is something that I could easily replicate at home so it lost the veil of mystery at that point.
On to the roasted beet salad with goat cheese and orange. Again, good, but not anything to rave about or even return to the restaurant for. Next, the Hedgehog mushroom and fontina pizza. While I love stinky cheeses, this one pulled up to our table and I wondered, "Who ordered the stale ass with a side of smelly feet?" Oh boy. Pungent. After the pizza had announced its arrival far in advance with the odor, it was surprisingly without much taste. The hedgehog mushrooms tasted like they started off dehydrated (got a big chunk of one and the water fairly oozed out of the chunk as though it were a sponge) and the fontina apparently gave it all away in the scent as there was no taste to speak of.
To finish, we ordered the ricotta fritters with huckleberry sauce. My bad, my imaginings of this dish were different than the actual thing. I was envisioning pillows of dough surrounding a warm bit of ricotta, oozing out and mixing nicely with the huckleberry sauce once bitten in to. The filling turned out to be huckleberry, in addition to the sauce garnishing the plate, so apparently the ricotta was hiding within the dough. Ah well, they were still a nice little sweet bit after our meal.
Overall okay, but nothing that would ever cause me to say, "I must return here someday".
Can I have some more, please?. I have had good wood fired pizzas, but Cicchetti knows how to cook incredible food in a wood fired oven. The Portuguese backed clams w/ spicy sausage, to just name one. And their bar is divine. The bartenders know how to make the most wonderful libations...sigh.
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