My second time to La Ciccia, this time with E on a Tuesday night. Much less crowded than a Friday night. So far so good. We started with the appetizer special - braised tripe with saffron and truffle. In Florence, stewed tripe can be found at street stands where they serve it on bread like little hot sandwiches, so I was interested to see how a Sardinian restaurant would treat the dish. I loved it and would order it every time if it was on the menu, the tripe was cut into smallish slivers, soft and tender in a red colored heady sauce. I thought this dish was superior to the Tripa alla Fiorentina that I usually order at Delfina.
Our mains were the Gnocchetti with Sausage and the Spaghetti with Tuna Heart. The gnocchetti came in a large dish filled with the chewy gnocchetti and Italian sausage. It was hearty and comforting, home style cooking. E commented that it was just like her grandmother makes. The spaghetti was perfectly al dente and well covered with flecks of Tuna Heart -- salty anchovy flavored purple colored flakes, and some very good olive oil with garlic. Both dishes hit the spot for me, though they were really a contrast in flavors. The salty sea flavored spaghetti and the earthy homey gnocchetti. The chef came out to ask whether we were enjoying our meal. I asked him about the tuna heart and he went to the kitchen to retrieve a package. It looked like a purple heart shaped piece of liver. He uses olive oil and garlic on the pasta then shaves some of the tuna onto it. He said there were only two families in Sardinia that produced the tuna heart and one of them recently stopped producing them because the patriarch had passed away. He said that he was one of the first to import the tuna heart and had to wait many months for the FDA to approve its importation into the U.S.
Thank goodness that SF has folks like him that care enough to bring the foods of their homeland to our fair city. Next time try: stew octopus, pasta with cauliflower and bottarga.
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Church and 30th