What: This Covent Garden Italian restaurant is the third Cicchetti (after Manchester and London Piccadilly) from San Carlo Restaurant Group.
New? It opened in 2014 when we first reviewed it.
Where? 30 Wellington Street, Covent Garden WC2E 7BD www.sancarlocicchetti.co.uk
On the menu: The menu is designed in a tapas style so even the mains are fairly small as you are expected to order a few dishes. It’s a classic Italian menu so pasta, pizza and cheese reign supreme with dishes like Lasagne al Forno, layers of pasta with slow cooked beef ragu; gnocchi gorgonzola in a baked parmesan basket and gamberoni piccanti Sicilian; prawns with chilli lemon and garlic.
The Look: I’d seen pictures beforehand and decided I liked it so luckily the real thing wasn’t a disappointment. There isn’t a lot of natural light so the lighting is set to permanently create a flattering honey-coloured hue, the powder blue stools and huge expanses of light grey Italian marble fit in well with the colouring. Rather randomly there is a real buffalo tomato and lemon on each table.
What We Ate: A lot of cheese and a lot of tomatoes; the cheese by choice, the tomatoes were added to absolutely everything – luckily, I like tomatoes.
I’m not sure how Italian it is to deep fry mozzarella but I was all on board for it, if there’s one way to improve cheese it’s to fry it – and in this case, dunk it in garlic mayonnaise. The tuna tartare is prepared at the table which I found to be a nice touch, it gives the impression of being super fresh and it’s enjoyable to watch the process of it being prepared. If mozzarella is King (which is it) then burrata is the supreme ruler of the cheese universe; partly chewy, partly creamy, it’s all you could ask for in a cheese.
For mains the Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with pachino tomatoes was nice enough but not particularly special while the restaurant’s “best dish” of Truffle and Pecorino Ravioli fared a lot better. It was quite small in size but a few bites in and the rich, creamy sauce found me and filled me up. The Zucchine fritti were seriously addictive.
What We Drank: Cicchetti has a great selection of wine with waiters on hand to make recommendations. While the weather is hot we recommend the classic Italian cocktail, Aperol Spritz.
Go With: Someone you don’t mind sharing with.
Final Word: The dishes are relatively cheap but small so don’t be fooled you will rack a bill pretty easily.
Cicchetti: 30 Wellington Street, Covent Garden WC2E 7BD www.sancarlocicchetti.co.uk