Thanks to the heads-up from Andrew and Josiah, and to Tim for bringing me along on his birthday outing… We were first in line when Cicchetti, the newest addition to the Eastlake neighborhood, opened its doors tonight. Forget all of that soft opening stuff; we experienced the first real night of service. When we arrived at 5:00pm the place was, of course, empty. And by the time we left at 6:30pm? Packed.
Cicchetti occupies a former architect’s office across the patio from Serafina, somewhere I (and the rest of foodie Seattle) have had my eye on for a while . Walking in, the space has that wonderful feeling of small and cozy, but when you look around you see a whole lot of seats. Off to the right of the entrance, around the corner of the bar and upstairs in an area that overlooks Lake Union and the Space Needle. The walls downstairs are a fantastic bright green juxtaposed against interior elements like the stunning chandelier just inside the entrance -- brought straight from Venice, we were told.
Like its sibling restaurant, Serafina, Cicchetti doesn’t disappoint in the cocktail department. Two of our favorites from the evening were the Unorthodox (Irish whiskey, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and bitters) and the Martinez (Ransom gin, Campano Antica vermouth and maraschino liqueur). Although we didn’t have time to give the menu a complete once-over, the three things we tried were fantastic: octopus with salsa verde and chickpeas, chanterelle mushroom and fontina pizza and saving the best for last, roasted pork and fennel sausage with red wine braised onions and grapes. I’m a huge fan of Serafina –- particularly at happy hour -– but it seems that now I’ll have to divide my time in the neighborhood between these two fantastic locations.
[Photo courtesy of Tim Callaghan]