If you're looking for your new favourite pasta place... look no further.
Ever since they opened at the end of August, I've been dying to go to Aperitivo Cicchetti. It has a Sprezzatura vibe, in the sense that it does small pasta plates ideal for sharing, and anywhere that focuses on pasta is the kind of spot I want to check out. So without further ado, here are my honest thoughts on my meal last night at Aperitivo.
Who to book with?
You should book with anyone who adores pasta. Myself and my friend shared three pasta plates (she's veggie and I don't eat pork so we got three veggie-friendly dishes to share) and were able to positively gush over the taste.
Set the scene
Aperitivo Cicchetti is a small restaurant; there's very limited space so that's definitely something to make note of. The space is made to feel bigger with the mirrors that line the wall, but ultimately they can only cater for 7-9 tables at a time, and the restaurant is very intimate at that.
This is made clear on their website however, where they state that they are an "intimate 20 seater restaurant."
This is how the website describes the restaurant/bar:
The intimate bar creates an atmosphere unique to an Italian swing joint circa 1950, serving classic drinks such as Aperitifs, Negronis & Spritzes. Inspired by the Venetian "cicchetti", they have meticulously picked out Italian small plates from the best in Italian cuisine. The dishes will be on rotation to give the opportunity to explore the many facets of Italian food from traditional Roman dishes carbonara & cacio e pepe, to panzanella from Tuscany & arancini from Sicily.
Look, I love pasta, so anywhere that does pasta at an affordable cost is a bit of me. The great thing about Aperitivo Cicchetti is that because the plates are relatively small (with a price-tag that matches the size) you get the opportunity to try more than one dish. We ordered the Bucatini alla Vodka, the Cacio & Pepe, and the Tortellini alla Salvia e Burro, and I would easily order all three again, although the Cacio & Pepe was possibly the favourite.
I thought they had a wonderful range of veggie-friendly dishes, which was much appreciated given my companion.
The only comment I would make, which wasn't something I minded at all but just to note it, the pasta was served quite al dente. Now I find bucatini tends to be more al dente than other pasta shapes, and it's all down to personal preference, but I just thought it was worth mentioning.
I'll be honest, I was initially disappointed when I saw the size of the bellini I ordered. It was quite small in comparison to my friend's Limoncello Spritz, but I soon realised it was just the glass that was somewhat misleading; think of a champagne flute without the stem.
The bellini itself was delicious, and the rosé I ordered after (which was vegan for all those who require this sort of info) was also lovely and fresh, served in one of those flat-bottomed sort of glasses (which just feel fancier, I don't know why).
I like tiramisu, but I've never been obsessed with it. But my word, the tiramisu (€8 per portion) was some of the best I have tried. It was also a recommendation of the staff; one of our servers claimed he had once had six in one day, and look, I would believe it after tasting it.
What did you want to try?
Next time I go I definitely want to try the sharing starter portion of burrata. I only tried burrata for the first time this year, but it has truly become an obsession. As for pasta plates, I'd definitely be interested in trying the Tagliatelle con Funghi Porcini or the Parmigiana di Melanzane next time I visit. Although to be honest, I think I'll struggle to not order the Cacio & Pepe again.
The staff were incredibly friendly, attentive without being overbearing, and efficient; I don't have a bad word to say about them. As this was a birthday meal, I asked that they bring something out for my friend, which they did, and I think every individual staff member took the time to wish her happy birthday too, which was a lovely touch.
As the restaurant is quite cosy, accessibility would possibly be an issue. However, Aperitivo is all on the same floor with no stairs. There's a larger table at the front facing window which would likely be a good spot for anyone with accessibility issues and given how wonderful the staff were, I'm sure they would do their best to accommodate you.
Where is it again?
You can find Aperitivo Cicchetti on Nassau Street, right next to the new Tapped bar.
How to keep up with them?
I thought the prices were very reasonable, particularly for the food. While one pasta plate costing between €7 and €9 wouldn't be enough to fill you, getting two, or sharing with someone else makes it that you'd end up spending not much more than in a restaurant with regular portion sizes, and this way you get to try multiple dishes.
Aperitivo Cicchetti opens Monday through to Sunday from 12pm until late.
Would you go again?
Funnily enough not only would I go again, I'm booked to go again next week. As someone who was dying to try it, I essentially pitched it to anyone and everyone, and on this occasion, several people wanted to try it with me. So I will be returning to Aperitivo Cicchetti for another meal, and I am already buzzing for it. All I have to do is decide whether to branch out and try new dishes this time, or stick to the tried and true pasta plates.
Either way, I doubt I'll be disappointed.
Header images via Instagram/aperitivodublin