For awhile, date nights were pretty mundane with meals at everyday places (mainly in Japantown mostly out of convenience) which were good but nothing that would excite me to blog about. I decided to pull out my list and start planning date nights a little better, and La Ciccia happened to be a relatively easy reservation to get.
The Roasted Monterey Calamari was drizzled in a basil-flavored olive oil and dressed with some mixed greens. The calamari was absolutely tender signaling not only how fresh it was but how well cooked it was. I can’t stand chewy calamari. This was definitely the preferred of the cephalopod-based appetizers.
Although this was recommended by many Yelp reviewers, I was not as keen on this dish especially since we ordered the calamari, but Pdho suggested we go with it. The Baby Octopus Stew was a healthy serving, but I think it was a little too much for me. The tomato sauce was spicy and quite tasty, but I was a little bit too tentacled out.
I know… more squid! But I absolutely love squid ink pasta and am always hard-pressed to not order it when I see it on any menu. The linguine was freshly made and tossed with a seafood sugo, lemon zest and squid ink. The seafood and squid ink was richer in flavor and consistency than usual, but I still enjoyed this dish.
As with the linguini, the spaghetti was also home made and cooked to the right bit of firmness. I love my pasta al dente. The salt cured fish roe was essentially caviar mixed in a spicy garlic oil and made for a unique tasting pasta sauce, a little creamy with a bit of a spicy kick and nice punch of flavor. I liked this pasta as well maybe even slightly more just because it was such an interesting and different tasting dish.
I had high hopes for this dessert, especially when the Chef/Owner’s wife exuberently shared that this was her favorite dessert. It is a Sardinian ricotta and saffron cake topped with honey and toasted almonds. The texture is probably what disappointed me the most because it was somewhere half way between a cake and a budino. I would have preferred one over the other, but I think it was too spongey. The flavor itself was fine and the bit of honey was just enough sweetness to accent the subtle saffron flavor in the cake.
Overall, this place is really top notch when it comes to their pastas. There were so many other options on the menu including an uni-based one that I was really torn to decide, but I think the real appeal of this place is in the intimate and local feel that exudes from this tiny space in the quieter part of Noe Valley.
291 30th St.
San Francisco, CA 94131
PAFO Ratings for La Ciccia:
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 3½ stars
Overall rating 3½ stars