Jump to content


Photo

La Ciccia (SF)


  • Please log in to reply
65 replies to this topic

#1 Steve R.

Steve R.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,757 posts

Posted 15 April 2010 - 04:16 PM

We flew in Tues. afternoon from NYC (well, Brooklyn, but let's not get too technical) and our first dinner in SF was here, due to recommendations, mostly from CH posters. I've learned, over the years, how to research threads on CH, finding the more reputable and reliable posters.... glad we did. We were still on NYC time so we jumped our 7:30pm Opentable reservation to 6:15pm and showed up expecting to find an empty place. Already half full, a good sign. Friendly staff from the owner to the wait staff to the bus boy made this a delight, a good escape from the sometimes too attitude-y places in NYC.

We ordered the flat bread and a bottle of Sardenian wine (not Cannonau, the name escapes me now). An '05 red reserva with earthiness & solid body, a good deal at $50. Plenty is available at all ranges from $30s to hundreds, another sign (in my opinion) of a restaurant interested in its customers. No upsell... just good honest "what do you like & how can I help?" interest.

Disclosure: we eat a lot. We started with fresh sardines with bread crumbs and olive oil and an order of baby octopus in a slightly spicy red sauce. Both were excellent... fresh and extremely well thought out and prepared. Substantial portions but not overwhelming. Next, we shared an order of the spaghetti w/bottarga... again, nice portion size & extremely well made. For mains (yes, still eating), Ginny had the lamb w/cabbage and I had the pork loin topped with an onion/saffron(?) mix & lentils on the side. Both were excellent, the lamb very fresh but not too lamb-y, no grease, cooked perfectly rare & the pork in cutlets, similarly well executed. These portions were extremely generous and, to be polite, we worked our way through both, leaving nothing behind. I think that a note about how good the cabbage was is in order here -- the raisins were plump, not too sweet and the dish was more than one would expect from a side. .

A couple of espressos and a comp'ed semolina/almond dessert w/honey (there goes the diet) ended the meal and we waddled back to the J to return to our hotel. The $100pp cost ($205 total all in, including the wine and tip.... a "normal" dinner would easily be significantly less) was, to us, a bargain and we're figuring out if we can make it back here before our vacation ends. In short (well, too late for that), this would be on our regular rotation at home and it's too bad that our 10 minute conversation with the owner, trying to convince him to relocate to Manhattan or Brooklyn, didnt seem to be successful. Nice place you got here!

(Wednesday's lunch at Slanted Door was good, but dinner at Incanto was less than expected.... write ups forthcoming if I get back to a computer.... tonite, it's off to 1550 Hyde).

This space available… contact owner.


#2 Anthony Bonner

Anthony Bonner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 13,885 posts

Posted 15 April 2010 - 05:07 PM

actually I believe technically you flew in from queens. Or, perish the thought, New Jersey.

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#3 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 20,997 posts

Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:26 PM

We had a very good meal here and the staff was as nice as Steve describes. The crowd produced an immediate culture shock - the personalities are so different from either what you're used to in nyc or down in Mexico... can you imagine a table holding the owner hostage for about 30 minutes asking pointless questions about one dish, another doing something similar to a waitress, a third pretending to be waiting for two guests although he was clearly bluffing. Clothes spanned the range from street-person to suit and tie. Wow.

We ate a lot too, partially because coming from nyc it's hard to imagine a $15-ish pasta dish will be huge. The food is very rustic and strongly flavored, sort of all (authentically, I imagine, I really don't know anything about Sardinia) leaning in the general direction of Tunisian food (most obviously the octopus in spicy tomato sauce). The most memorable dish was pasta with sea urchin and dried tuna heart, but fregola with squid ink was also very nice. We were so full by the time an entree of wild prawns came that I can just tell you they were very good, not overcooked, but less interesting (to me) than the other dishes.

Would be in our regular rotation too.
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#4 Steve R.

Steve R.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,757 posts

Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:30 AM

Glad you liked it. Since you're so close by in SF, why not ocean hop here to Oahu - we've found some equally good food, some of it even served by ex-Roberta staff.

This space available… contact owner.


#5 johannabanana

johannabanana

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 396 posts

Posted 11 October 2014 - 09:36 PM

Has anyone (joethefoodie?) been to la Ciccia recently? I'm torn between a more economical Tuesday dinner here in November or the blow-out at Saison.



#6 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 20,997 posts

Posted 12 October 2014 - 06:47 AM

About 6 months ago, same as always. It's pretty hard to make a comparison between good but casual Sardinian and a 3 michelin star aspirant, but I didn't really like the meal at the previous Saison, so I'd probably go with LC. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#7 johannabanana

johannabanana

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 396 posts

Posted 12 October 2014 - 02:32 PM

Thanks. La Ciccia sounds great. I have read positive things recently on Chuck Eats and less recently on Gastromondiale about the new Saison but, as you say, the experience there must be a completely different one from casual Sardinian.



#8 joethefoodie

joethefoodie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 10,259 posts

Posted 12 October 2014 - 03:03 PM

Has anyone (joethefoodie?) been to la Ciccia recently? I'm torn between a more economical Tuesday dinner here in November or the blow-out at Saison.

Not since our last trip - but with Ori and others recommending it still, it is on our list for November.



#9 Steven Dilley

Steven Dilley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,016 posts

Posted 12 October 2014 - 06:23 PM

While I still haven't made it to LC, I had a great meal at Saison last night.  My meal appears to have been pretty similar to Chuck's recent meal.  Definitely more dairy than previous visits.  A great pumpkin dish.  (Not actually pumpkin, though I'm blanking on the name of the squash and can't access the menu at the moment.)  And aged duck to finish, which I preferred to the beef I've had there previously.  Not crazily aged out a la Blanca... this one hung for 3 weeks and then hung some more over the fire during the course of the meal.  Shawn Gawle has moved to Les Clos, so no more Parker House rolls.


Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

--H.L.Mencken


.............................
Sissies and wastoids

#10 johannabanana

johannabanana

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 396 posts

Posted 13 October 2014 - 02:41 PM

Is there a Chuck Eats flickr you saw that on?

 

Duck sounds great. I prefer the idea of that to aged pigeon, which I think might be one of Saisons's signature dishes but can become too gnarly in certain versions I've had, like at Atera. Loved the aged duck on the Roberta's tasting menu pre-Blanca. Top duck of my life!



#11 joethefoodie

joethefoodie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 10,259 posts

Posted 24 August 2016 - 02:12 PM

Last night's dinner here was really wonderful. After our final dinner in Healdsburg so chock full of salt that I couldn't wait for dessert to arrive, in addition to the technically fine cooking, La Ciccia's ability to let the actual product shine through was quite welcome.

 

Case in point: a simple squid salad, with shaved ribbons of celery and radish; it's saline taste came from the ocean, and a few black olives scattered about. But that squid! So tender it practically melts in one's mouth.

 

Indeed, the pasta dish we tried (house-made spaghetti with bottarga), while not huge in size, was rich, spicy and delicious. And my primi, the zupetta de pisci, was chock full of mussels, more of that delicious squid, and tiny bay shrimp in a fabulous seafood and tomato-based broth. Just great.

 

Secondi were those still-fine prawns, and for me some fresh swordfish from Hawaii, simply cooked and served with a bed of assorted cooked peppers. 

 

We drank various wines by the glass, some good, some fairly blah.

 

It's interesting that Ori posted this 4 years ago: 

The crowd produced an immediate culture shock - the personalities are so different from either what you're used to in nyc

Significant Eater, when a table of 2 couples, both perhaps a bit older than us was seated, pointed out that each of them was flaunting their gorgeous head of grey hair, and that we'd never see that in New York.



#12 Adrian

Adrian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,695 posts

Posted 24 August 2016 - 02:42 PM

Wholeheartedly agree. Our meal earlier this year still stands as among the best in it's category for 2016. Was the pasta the one with the urchin-tomato sauce? Fantastic.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#13 joethefoodie

joethefoodie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 10,259 posts

Posted 24 August 2016 - 02:59 PM

The urchin-tomato sauce was being served on fregola, I think. This pasta (house made thick spaghetti) was rich with bottarga and chili. Fantastic. No one, to my knowledge, is cooking food like this in NY.



#14 Adrian

Adrian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,695 posts

Posted 24 August 2016 - 03:04 PM

The urchin-tomato sauce was being served on fregola, I think. This pasta (house made thick spaghetti) was rich with bottarga and chili. Fantastic. No one, to my knowledge, is cooking food like this in NY.


Ah. I got the bottarga over the spaghetti. Bottle of drank too. As far as I know, it's a singular place in North America.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#15 Anthony Bonner

Anthony Bonner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 13,885 posts

Posted 24 August 2016 - 05:08 PM

Has anyone who has been to La Ciccia also been Sardinia in Miami? 

 

I had a spaghetti/bottarga/chile pasta there this winter.


"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"