Tonight is the first night of San Diego’s Restaurant Week. Many restaurants in the area offer a small menu at a fixed price to entice people to come and try what they have to offer. It’s a really fun, and often less expensive, way to try some different places in your hood. Cicciotti’s is offering a three course meal for $20/person. We are all in!
I was told tonight that Cicciotti’s is pronounced “chich-oat-ease”, but I had to confirm this with two employees to be sure. Last time I was there they told me it was pronounced “chich-ot-ease”. Next time I go I will ask again. And I will most likely be told it’s “chich-ee-otee”. They probably have like 5 or 6 different ways to say it and they love messing with people when asked. Which is often.
For $20 per person, you get to pick an appetizer, main course and dessert. The portions are smaller than on their regular menu, but they are big enough and the selection is very good.
Dangerously good bread was brought to our table right away, and greedy hands were geared for gobbling.
Trying to keep things PG-rated here, I had to kick Hand #1 out from the picture, and from all future blogs. You flippa your bird, you ban from my blogga. (That’s my Italian right there.)
Ah hem. As I was saying. Greedy hands were geared for gobbling.
Much better. The bread here is served with butter and not traditional olive oil and vinegar. This is an important detail for some people. “Pop”, my late father in law, flat out REFUSED to enter an establishment that served bread without butter. We would have to call Italian restaurants ahead of time and ask if their table bread was served with butter or olive oil and vinegar, which was a deal breaker. Pop would give Cicciotti’s two thumbs up.
Off to a good start with the delicious bread and butter, I also greatly enjoyed drinking my water out of a mug with a handle. Unlike a typical water glass, the mug is not cold and wet to touch and you don’t melt the ice with your warm hand. Now that plastic straws are outlawed in this town, enjoyable drinking vessel options are limited, and worth commenting on.
The regular Ravioli with Red Sauce appetizer arrived as delicious as ever.
The Butternut Squash ravioli was heavy on the sage (NEVER go heavy with sage! Or thyme.) It was not as good.
I found the Lobster and Shrimp Bisque to be overly thick and very salty. I am a soup snob and this one does not pass my test. But both my kids are used to eating my very healthy, low sodium, vegetable based soups. Never with cream and butter. They both about blew a gasket trying this thick bowl of rich soup with real cream. Will they ever go back to mine or are they now ruined forever?
The meatball on a bed of ricotta cheese and marinara was very good. We finished it wanting more.
For our main course, there were enough of us to order everything offered.
Bottomless Pit inhaled his Ossobuco like he was a caveman eating his first kill. No delicate bites and savoring tastes here. He Eat Meat Like Real Man. But his exact words were, “I really like how the meat just falls off the bone right into the risotto waiting there for it.” Everyone else who ordered the Ossobuco agreed with BP that it was terrific.
DIANE, who made it very clear that she would love to be mentioned in the blog, ordered the salmon, as I did. We both enjoyed it a lot. Especially DIANE. I loved the tender yet still crisp vegetables and DIANE loved the lobster and crab sauce. And you know who loves their mashed potatoes shaped into a flower? DIANE!
If Tiramisu is your thing, this one looked nice. (Can you tell it is totally NOT my thing?)
Same with the Cannoli
But how can anyone order anything other than “Souffle a cioccolato” aka Belgium Chocolate Lava Cake when offered on a menu?? Eight out of ten of us agreed.
There’s no need to bother with the hardened outside. I broke into the middle right away. It’s all about the lava! Give me that gooey chocolate magma middle Baby! But to my absolute horror of horrors, nothing gooey or melty came out! This was an over-cooked chocolate puck! You know what they call lava after it dries up? Granite! I looked at everyone else’s plate and their chocolate-granite-pucks were in the exact same condition! How come no one but me is upset and complaining here? We need to send these back, they are a complete disaster! My oldest looked at me and said, “Mom, breathe. And just taste it as is.” So I took a bite. Ok, it was good. Great. It was great. But this was over cooked and a total rookie mistake, uncalled for from a restaurant of this caliber. Just on principle I will only have one more…two more…four more bites and I’m leaving the rest over.
Cicciotti’s, no matter how you say it, is one of the few restaurants I’ve reviewed that Hubby and I have been to before. In fact, this is our go-to Italian restaurant. Although I can’t say that every single thing I’ve ordered has been great, most of the food is. And there is also a killer Groupon available all the time! The restaurant week menu allowed me to try some new things, but I will stick to my favorites next time. The Salmon Piccata and Eggplant Parmesan are dope. BP always gets the Cheese Ravioli or Lasagna while my other two stick with whatever seafood pasta they find. These are our staples. If they would have called the “Souffle a cioccolato” “Chocolate Brownie” I would give it top marks. But don’t promise me lava and give me granite- that is unforgivable! As is flippin’ the bird in one of my photos!
Next week’s blog will be back on the 101, on Sunday, September 30th NEW TIME 8:30am