This sharp venetian-inspired osteria from Dan Rosenthal (Trattoria No. 10) suffered the unfortunate luck of opening at the same time as Nico Osteria, a higher-profile restaurant similar in concept and vibe. But with Michael Sheerin (Trenchermen) as chef, Cicchetti fearlessly sets itself apart. Small plates do honor to the floating City with house-cured sardines, crackly and creative flatbreads, and soft meatballs in a punchy pancetta-tomato sauce. A bold tomato-chili seafood stew bobbing with shellfish and puffed wild rice glorifies venice outright. and Sarah Jordan’s “reverse” affogato of espresso gelato topped by crème anglaise and served with warm cinnamon doughnuts for dipping treads its own path. the tight, gold-toned space gets more claustrophobic than a gondola, but like the city that inspired it, Cicchetti casts a seductive spell.
Perfect for: Business lunches, date nights, and all points in between.