You may not know this, Dear Reader, but I’m quite a fan of Aldo Zilli, so when he followed me recently on Twitter I was delighted. To celebrate this great social media moment I decided to take myself and my lovely friend Lucy to Cicchetti Covent Garden, which is owned by the San Carlo Group which Mr Zilli consults for.
Cicchetti is devoted to the Venetian ‘tapas’ style of dining where you order several medium sized plates (called ‘cicchetti’) to share for dinner and I have to say, it’s utterly delightful. Lucy and I went for the carpaccio of beef, baby mozzarella, spinach ravioli and piadina with Napoli salami and we were very satisfied, you will not walk out hungry!
The carpaccio was meltingly delicious, served with a delicate rocket salad and shavings of pecorino, this definitely a must-have dish and demonstrated just how beautiful fresh, simple food can be when it’s good quality. The baby mozzarella was served deep fried and garnished with cherry tomatoes that had been lightly grilled with basil. Again, this dish was incredibly simple but full of flavour and pleasure to eat.
The spinach ravioli was served as two large raviolo in a fresh tomato sauce and our waiter (all the staff are Italian and utterly charming) kindly garnished the dish with parmesan for us. Again this dish was faultless, with the fresh and slightly acidic tomato sauce balancing out the richness of the fresh pasta and the creamy ricotta and spinach filling.
Our final dish was the piadina with Napoli salami, which was very much like an Italian version of a toasted sandwich, served on thin focaccia-style herbed bread and cut into quarters, no complaints from either Lucy or I!
For the four cicchetti, a glass of wine and a bottle of water was £44 for two people including service. Next time you’re in Covent Garden, do yourself a favour, avoid the tourist traps and come here instead.