Cicchetti is the tapas of the Italian world. Savor samples of the freshest dishes by hand selecting your personal desires. Suppress your hunger or make it a meal; cicchetti is an affordable way to sample several local dishes in one place.
My recommendation for a great Venetian cicchetti bar is Osteria al Bomba. I learned about the restaurant from a Rick Steves’ guidebook. A couple of friends and I worked as a team to navigate and wind our way to the osteria found off the main street in an alley a little wider than our shoulders.
We were a bit shy since we were cicchetti newbies, but Giovanna was welcoming, and guided us through our first experience. There were some items on the menu that I was familiar with, and some that looked interesting, but I wasn’t actually sure what they were. One of them was baccala (salt cod) in a ball. I do not care for fish, but this was so creamy and did not taste fishy at all. The tomatoes in Italy must be grown in the tastiest dirt on the planet because they are so flavorful. Adding a tomato sauce to green beans was a new recipe to me, but something I have tried to replicate at home because the flavors paired so well.
Since returning home from Venice I have experienced symptoms of withdrawal. I cannot find seafood so fresh where I live, and the produce has limited taste. I know where I will be eating the next time I visit Venice. Perhaps I’ll go on a cicchetti bar crawl.