I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I dined at La Ciccia. Crazy how time flies! Located in Noe Valley in San Francisco, La Ciccia is a popular and quaint family owned Sardinian restaurant.
La Ciccia is a tiny restaurant, therefore always difficult to snag a reservation, that serves homey Sardinian cuisine. In Italy, each region (there’s 20) has their own type of cuisine and can even differ from city to city within a region! Since I lived in Italy for almost four years, I tried to travel as much throughout the country to really explore this country’s food. Since Sardinia is an island (read about trip to Sardinia here), much of their cuisine is seafood oriented while the inland is meat centric.
We started off with the Sardinian flatbread; airy light and crispy brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh rosemary and Pecorino Sardo cheese.
One of their signature dishes is the baby octopus stew which I tried last time. If you’re not a fan of heat, this stew might be too spicy for you. The stew has a nice punch from the chili peppers with tender whole baby octopus and sprinkled with fresh marjoram. Simple and warming.
The prawns were gently roasted and served with a sweet tomato sugo, herb oil, and fresh microgreens. At my last visit, I had a dish where the prawns were split in half and roasted and served with herb oil and lemon juice. Really tasty. Another popular appetizer that I tried previously was the roasted whole Monterey calamari served with herb oil and salad.
Now onto my favorite part…pasta! The spaghetti was the lightest out of the three and one of my favorite dishes in general. Spaghetti with bottarga (dried mullet roe) is a classic dish that I ate all the time in Italy; it’s such a simple dish but so delicious. The fettuccine was definitely more robust and rich with a creamy sauce made from tomato and sea urchin and topped with grated tuna heart which gave the dish a much more complex flavor. Lastly, the rigatoni had a flavorful ragù made from lamb, pancetta, and veal, finished with some grated sharp Pecorino cheese. My only criticism was that the rigatoni was just a touch overcooked. Other delicious pastas that I’ve tried at La Ciccia include long pasta dressed in squid ink seafood sugo and gnocchetti with a pork ragù. At both my visits, I’ve never tried a main course but I’m sure they’re fantastic.
Lastly, the nougat semifreddo was creamy with a soft chocolate mousse bottom served with toasted nuts and caramel sauce.
La Ciccia is a great neighborhood restaurant showcasing comforting Sardinian classics so my rating is a 7.5-8/10.