- Appetizer: octopus stew in a spicy tomato sauce
- First course: fresh linguine with squid ink
- Main course: pan-roasted pork loin with saffron-flavored onions
What to Drink: Before opening La Ciccia, owner Massimiliano Conti worked for Italian wine importer Winebow. He taps into that expertise to put together the wine list, which contains dozens of little-known bottles. Sardinian gems include the white nuragus, whose soft fruit tones complement the delicate flavor of seafood.
The Owners: Sardinian by birth, Massimiliano Conti came to the States in 1993 with the dream of opening a restaurant dedicated to the food of his homeland. In 2009, he and his wife made their dream a reality, transforming a vacated pizza joint into a space that SF Weekly called "simultaneously familial, relaxed, and sophisticated—a very Italian trick."
While You're Waiting
- Keep a lookout for celebrities: the restaurant is a favorite of New York Times columnist Mark Bittman and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
- Introduce yourself to the owners. They often roam the dining room, helping guests navigate the wine list and menu—though each item has an English translation, the original Sardinian is as distinct from Italian as Spanish is from Portuguese.
Fregula: a semolina-based pasta from Sardinia that’s similar to couscous.
Tagliolini: a thin, cylindrical egg pasta that can be served in a nest to hold thick, meat-based sauces.
Bottarga: dried tuna or mullet roe with an intense fishy flavor that’s similar in property to anchovies.
While You're in the Neighborhood: Tour the eccentric Pritikin Museum (47 Chenery Street), built by ad executive Bob Pritikin as his personal residence. The house and grounds hold an estimated $40 million worth of paintings and sculptures, including a 20-foot bronze tree whose branches spew fire.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: La Nebbia (1781 Church Street), the owners' new joint around the corner, offers a more casual menu of wine and appetizers.