For my birthday dinner this year, Kevin and I visited Cicchetti. Cicchetti is the latest creation from Chef Michael Sheerin, the guy behind another Chicago staple Trenchermen. Chef Sheerin has quite the impressive culinary resume from working in NYC at Jean-Geroges and WD-50 to becoming the first-ever chef de cuisine under James Beard award-winning chef Paul Kahan at Blackbird.
Cicchetti is located in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood and was named one of Chicago Magazine’s Best New Restaurants of 2014. After experiencing the tasty creations at Trenchermen last winter, I knew Cicchetti was on my list of places to visit.
We had an early reservation on a week night at 5:30 and were seated at a “chef’s table” with a view straight into the kitchen. We were one of the only few tables seated when we got there but by the time we were done with our meal the restaurant was packed full with other guests.
At the recommendation of our waiter, we started off with the Warm Roasted Olives with Focaccia and Spreads. The focaccia is made with a 150 year aged yeast and was one of the tastiest breads I have ever eaten. Served with warm olives, a homemade giardiniera, kumquat marmalade, and a European butter with sea salt this starter did not disappoint.
Next up we ordered Nonna’s Meatballs. We order the meatballs whenever we are at an Italian small plates restaurant for dinner and these are some of the best I have ever had. The meatballs were served with a pancetta tomato sauce and ciabatta. The meatballs were moist and the sauce was so flavorful with a slight sweetness to it. Definitely a must order!
At the same time our meatballs arrived, we were also served the Burrata with Charred Baby Carrots served over a lemon puree. Burrata is also a staple for me when ordering Italian small plates and the smoky charred carrots paired with the creamy cheese was absolutely delicious!
Next we ordered a dish from the pasta section of the menu. We tried the Braised Short Rib Ravioli which was to die for! The ravioli was stuffed full of meat and the house made tomato sauce was so robust in flavor! I loved every bite of this. We ate all but two pieces of ravioli which I had the waiter wrap up to take home it was that good!
Lastly we ordered the Aged Trio of Duck which consisted of duck breast, sausage, and confit served with fingerling potatoes and balsamic cipollini onions. The breast was cooked perfectly and you can never go wrong with confit!
After you are finished with dinner, Cicchetti provides every guest with a complimentary shot of their housemade limoncello. Definitely one to sip as it is quite strong!
For dessert, Kevin surprised me by having our waiter bring out a sundae with a birthday candle in it! The sundae was made of tiramsu gelato (yes!), fudge, pistachio brittle, and amarena cherries. Best birthday dessert ever!
I cannot say enough good things about Cicchetti! Even Kevin who isn’t the biggest Italian food lover absolutely loved this place and could not stop talking about it. Run don’t walk to Cicchetti for your next dinner date!
Cicchetti is located at 671 N. St. Clair in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood