REVIEW: Osteria Cicchetti – Wilmington
Osteria Cicchetti, known to locals at The O.C., is one of Wilmington’s best known Italian restaurants. The menu isn’t extremely large which is sometimes a good thing because the kitchen can focus on perfecting the smaller amount of items on the menu. They serve a variety of pasta dishes, pizza, salads, antipasti and cold dishes (brushchette, spreads, cicchetti, formaggi & sallumi.
The interior of the restaurant looks like a Venice sidewalk at night which is dimly lit by scattered street lamps throughout the dining room. It has that old world Italian feel that gives it a sense of romanticism. I tried to get a few shots of the interior but it was a little too dark for my camera to get anything worthwhile to post. We were in town for an engagement party so I went out with a few of my friends (Will, Jordan, Elliot, Ashley and Dan) to get a nice dinner before the party.
We ordered calimari ($8.75) which came with marinari and pepperocini aioli dipping sauces. It was a great appetizer. The squid was flash-fried and covered in a salty, spicy breading which was only complimented when dipped in the pepperocini aioli. They fried them perfectly so that the exterior was crispy and the interior was tender and not chewy.
Osteria Cicchetti serves some delectable, complimentary bread up with olive oil and spices for dipping. They served two different types of bread: one was a pane carasau (flat bread) and the other was a hardened Italian loaf. I love complimentary bread and would actually go back just for drinks and appetizers so I could get some of this bread again.
Elliot ordered the Meatballs Napoli ($6.00) which is two baseball sized meatballs covered in melted mozzarella and then served in a bowl full of Napoli sauce which is basically a chunkier version of marinara sauce. I got a few bites of these and would definitely order them again the next time I go. I almost ordered the spaghetti and meatballs for dinner but figured I would try something else since I was planning on reviewing it for the blog.
I ordered the Rigate Melanzane which is shell-shaped pasta with eggplant and fontina & mozzarella in a pomodoro sauce. It was good but, in hindsight, I would have gotten something with a little bit more substance (read as: seafood, chicken, steak). It is an good vegetarian selection with a lot of flavor. The portion was massive. My one issue with the dish was that it seemed like it was a little oily but that didn’t stop me from almost finishing it. My apologies for the bad picture. I took a few and none of them turned out very well.
I would definitely go back to Osteria Cicchetti the next time that I am craving Italian food when I am down in Wilmington. It was a great experience and very reasonable priced for such a nice restaurant. This is definitely a great spot for a family get together or a date. Check it out. I think you will like it.