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La Ciccia - SF - Must Try Dishes?

Dave MP May 6, 2008 12:38 PM

I'm eating at La Ciccia for the first time tomorrow night and I'm very excited. Are there any dishes that I need to be sure to order? Anything to avoid? I'm basically going in with the assumption that most everything has the potential to be great, so it'll depend on what's on the menu tomorrow.

Dave MP

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  1. JasmineG RE: Dave MP May 6, 2008 12:42 PM

    I've only been once, but my whole party loved the charcuterie plate and the gelatos, which I think are usually on the menu in some form.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JasmineG
      lovebitessf RE: JasmineG May 6, 2008 12:55 PM

      One of my favorite places...everything is great!

      Don't miss:
      For starter: Prupisceddu in Umidu (Octopus stew in a spicy tomato sauce) and the Sardinian flatbread with sea salt and olive oil. For pasta: Fresh Spaghetti with Cauliflower and Bottarga

      They often have a whole fish main course not on the printed menu. Go for that if it's available.

      Enjoy and please report back.

      1. re: lovebitessf
        JasmineG RE: lovebitessf May 6, 2008 02:09 PM

        Yes, two people in my party had the whole fish, and loved it; I had a few tastes, and it was great.

    2. p
      Pistou RE: Dave MP May 6, 2008 01:49 PM

      If they have fresh sardines, don't miss them (if you like fresh sardines. If you've only had the canned ones, don't let that deter you--fresh are a completely different creature).

      I really, really like their pizza. Very thin crust, deeply flavorful sauce, minimalist toppings.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pistou
        Ruth Lafler RE: Pistou May 6, 2008 02:55 PM

        I really liked the pizza, too -- I think it was that "deeply flavorful sauce" that did it. Just think about Sardinia: an island (seafood) where they raise sheep (lamb, sheep's milk cheeses) -- that will steer you well.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          Joan Kureczka RE: Ruth Lafler May 6, 2008 03:34 PM

          Lots of pork too, especially wild boar. We were served much more pork than lamb when we were in Sardinia about 18 months ago.

          La Ciccia sometimes does a wild boar in red wine sauce that is very good.

      2. Robert Lauriston RE: Dave MP May 6, 2008 01:56 PM

        Pasta with seafood sauce or bottarga or whatever it is that day.

        Whatever lamb they're doing that day.

        Skip the pizza.

        1. pane RE: Dave MP May 6, 2008 02:30 PM

          Liquid menu, but the Sardinian wines are tasty and affordable.

          1. farmersdaughter RE: Dave MP May 6, 2008 03:33 PM

            For appetizers I like the octopus stew and the seafood salad (served warm, very lemony).

            When I want something comforting I get the maloreddus (gnocchi shaped semolina pasta) with pork ragu. I also love getting the whole fish. Lamb is always a good bet. I don't think the pizzas are that great.

            I love the ricotta and saffron cake for dessert. The wine list is fantastic and reasonably priced.

            1 Reply
            1. re: farmersdaughter
              Calvinist RE: farmersdaughter May 6, 2008 04:13 PM

              To the fine list above I'd add any seafood pasta special they might have. Had a great one with tuna heart last summer.

              To me the pizza is fine, but not extrodinary. (Had better at Baretta last weekend.)

              1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

            2. rworange RE: Dave MP May 6, 2008 10:48 PM


              La Ciccia
              291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

              1. w
                wanderlust21 RE: Dave MP May 6, 2008 11:11 PM

                I agree with the above about skipping the pizza. The daily specials are good and I love the pasta with shaved tuna heart, very simple yet sumptuous. Have fun.

                9 Replies
                1. re: wanderlust21
                  Pistou RE: wanderlust21 May 7, 2008 09:06 AM

                  I am curious, Robert and wanderlust21, what you dislike about the pizza. "Skip the pizza" isn't very descriptive.

                  1. re: Pistou
                    farmersdaughter RE: Pistou May 7, 2008 09:31 AM

                    Both times I had pizza there, the crust was tough and unmanageable (overworked). There are many many better dishes at La Ciccia than the pizza and lots of places that do pizza better than La Ciccia.

                    1. re: farmersdaughter
                      Melanie Wong RE: farmersdaughter May 7, 2008 01:41 PM

                      I've only been there once, and did try the pizza. I had the same experience, the crust is too tough.

                    2. re: Pistou
                      Ruth Lafler RE: Pistou May 7, 2008 09:32 AM

                      While, as I said above, I like the pizza a lot, it's not the most distinctive offering at La Ciccia, so I wouldn't push it. If you're going out wanting pizza it's a good choice; if you go there a lot and want to vary your choices, it's a good choice; if you're with a group and can share several things it's a good choice; but I wouldn't order it instead of some of La Ciccia's more unique offerings.

                      1. re: Pistou
                        Robert Lauriston RE: Pistou May 7, 2008 09:41 AM

                        The antipasti, pastas, and main dishes are as good as rustic Italian gets in this area.

                        The pizza's above average but not in the same league.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          Calvinist RE: Robert Lauriston May 7, 2008 10:23 AM

                          "The pizza's above average but not in the same league."

                          That's my assesment as well.

                        2. re: Pistou
                          wanderlust21 RE: Pistou May 7, 2008 09:45 PM

                          Pistou, good point. The pizza crust seemed overworked as mentioned by farmersdaughter and Melanie. The two times I had it it was chewy. Though I still think it is fine, I'd rather not fill up on it when their excellent pastas and seafood are so close at hand.

                          1. re: wanderlust21
                            Pistou RE: wanderlust21 May 8, 2008 09:18 AM

                            Interesting--I've had the pizza twice and never noticed that the crust was tough. Maybe I was distracted by how wonderful the sauce was. In any event, I do agree that the other dishes I've had (pasta with bottarga and the fresh sardines in particular) have been outstanding and not something, like pizza, that is readily available elsewhere.

                            1. re: Pistou
                              Ruth Lafler RE: Pistou May 8, 2008 12:38 PM

                              Pistou, you and I should go out and eat pizza together -- I'm much more interested in the quality of the sauce than the nuances of crust that are so hotly debated here.

                      2. susancinsf RE: Dave MP May 7, 2008 12:00 PM

                        The salumi is a true don't miss dish if it is on the menu. and the gelato. I also love the clams appetizer and, indeed, many of the dishes that have already been mentioned. Even the octopus tastes great, and I don't eat octopus, for personal reasons...

                        Count me as not among the fans of their pizza, but then I am not a pizza fan in general. OTOH, on the rare occaisons when hubby is able to convince me to do take-out pizza for dinner we do get it from La Ciccia...

                        I thought the pork loin was tasty, but something one could get elsewhere.

                        IMO, you can't really go wrong. Have fun!

                        1. celeste RE: Dave MP May 7, 2008 04:52 PM

                          As others have mentioned, if they have the pasta with bottarga and cauliflower, or the variation with the tuna heart, it is a MUST GET. I have eaten this dish many times a La Ciccia and woken up the next morning with an urgent need to have it again ASAP.

                          Also I really like the octopus in tomato sauce appetizer, the salumi, any fresh cheese appetizer if they have one right now. I generally don't love the desserts except for the gelatos when they have them.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: celeste
                            susancinsf RE: celeste May 7, 2008 05:00 PM

                            yes, your post reminded me that I have had an absolutely lovely burrata there...

                          2. Dave MP RE: Dave MP May 7, 2008 10:58 PM

                            We decided to skip the pizza. Here's what we ate!


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