A very enjoyable evening at La Ciccia located at the end of Church on 30th.
Primi Piatti: Pizza a sa Sarda - the pizza was good but a little more doughy and less crispy than expected. It is definitely not thin cracker crust, but is still Neopolitan style; probably would skip this next time. Spaghetti with Artichokes and Bottarga - was great the bottarga added the nice salty taste of the sea with the smooth garlicky artichoke pieces adding body to the pasta, the pasta itself was clearly homemade and cooked al dente. One of my favorites of the night. Fregula with Porcini Mushrooms and Pecorino was a lentil bean shaped pasta that was a little bland when compared with the spaghetti, it clearly needed some special ingredient to brighten it up or bring some highlights to it. Parpardelle with Wild Boar Stew - was a special, the pasta was cooked well though not a standout, the wild boar was tender yet the stew lacked any special punch, but I could see a stew lover ordering this. Spaghetti with tuna hearts, bottarga and chili was a special and was my favorite dish of the night with a lot of salty fishy flavor from the tuna hearts and bottarga, the chili giving it a nice kick and highlighting the sea flavors, several of us sopped up the extra sauce with the table bread.
Secondi: I'll have to ask the others about their main courses which were the Baked Prawns and the Baked Blue Nose Bass. They all looked good. I had the Seared Lamb Chops with Fine Herbs Oil which was a huge portion of nicely cooked medium rare lamb -- good but nothing particularly outstanding and a mound of herbed mashed potatoes.
Desserts: Ricotta and Saffron Cake was just good, which is a shame because there was quite a bit of saffron used in the dessert. Chocolate Truffle was a special touted by the server as 'chocolate with love squeezed in the middle.' Indeed it seemed special because S thought it was excellent: vanilla gelato encased in a chocolate fudge giant truffle shaped mound covered in chocolate dust.
Dessert Round 2: We activated our auxillary stomachs (I love eating with these people) and headed over to Mitchell's where I sampled a Lacuma ice cream that was an awesome pumpkin colored Peruvian fruit flavor, not too sweet. I also had a little Peanut Butter Indulgence which is truly an overindulgence of chocolate peanut flavored ice cream with peanuts and chocolate chip nuggets mixed in. Even though I sampled before I selected it. I don't think I'll get that flavor again because a full scoop of it was like eating ice cream and a handful of chocolate candy at the same time -- too rich and sweet.
Things to Try Next Time: stew octopus; whole fish; taglioni with tuna, capers and olives; anything with bottarga.