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La Ciccia - SF - Must Try Dishes?

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. 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

      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

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

    2. 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

        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

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

        Whatever lamb they're doing that day.

        Skip the pizza.

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

          1. 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

              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. link

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

              1. 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

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

                  1. re: Pistou

                    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

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

                    2. re: Pistou

                      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

                        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

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

                          That's my assesment as well.

                        2. re: Pistou

                          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

                            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

                              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. 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. 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

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

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