Gelatos at La Ciccia
Hubby and I had another wonderful dinner at La Ciccia last night...(though it did get too noisy to have a comfortable conversation; not the best place for a relaxed meal with someone who isn't fond of restaurants. Still, the food and love coming from the kitchen and the hosts makes it worth it!)
Anyway, mostly we stuck to tried and true favorites (clams and mussels, mussel and zuchinni soup, fregua with porcini and pancetta, lamb chops) and managed somehow to resist the 18 month proscuitto on the specials list...but dessert last night was a standout and a new one to me: a trio of artisan gelatos: olive oil, figs and pecorino, and saffron topped with saffron honey and blood orange zest. Loved all three, and the saffron was truly outstanding.
I immediately flagged down Lorella (hostess/co-coowner, who was doing double duty as a server last night: they were pretty much slammed) to ask the source of this great stuff (La Ciccia doesn't have a pastry chef): apparently it is one guy, operating under the name "San Francisco Gelato" who makes it in the La Cocina Community Kitchens in the Mission...As reflected in this trio, he has been experimenting with Sardinian flavors just for La Ciccia...
Well, haven't had any luck finding them on line, with a name like that, so unless someone else knows another source, I highly recommend getting over to La Ciccia to try it out! (the rest of the meal is sure to be wonderful as well...)
291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131
I've happen to eat there twice in the last month. The first time they had a blood orange sorbet in addition to the figs, pecorino & safron.
The chef told me (we were sitting at the bar so he came over to say hi) the blood orange came from Italy as he found them sweeter there than what he could get here.
For the mains I think the highlight was the breaded pork cutlet with saba. Lamb chops quite tasty as well.
We also had the trio of gelatos at La Ciccia and they were defintely the highlight of
my meal (I'm not much of a seafood fan). The figs and pecorino were there along with the
Saffron which had really refreshing taste. The third gelato was made with Saba -
grape juice slowly cooked till syrupy - and was the sweetest of the three. Each flavor alone
might not be so remarkable but i loved the interplay of scents and flavors together.
They once had hazelnut gelato, which my wife and I think was the best we ever had. We eat as much as we can in northern Italy every year, so we have some basis to compare. The waitress insisted that was the dessert we should have and she was so right. My comment is that they only get small batches of gelato and I understand they usually get a different one each time. We were warned that once the hazelnut was gone, it might not be available again until who knows when.