I stumbled across Cicchetteria Sapore by chance while strolling around the historic center of Padova (Padua) one evening. I while checking out the restaurant and peeking through the front window, I waved to one of the waitresses, who waved back with a nice smile. The posted menu was enticing so I convinced by colleagues to have dinner here.
Cicchetteria Sapore is a rather small restaurant located near the Duomo in Padova, in the old center of town. It is warmly decorated with a seafood theme (fishing nets, sea shells etc.), soft lighting and an overall cozy atmosphere. Since the locale is small, tables are a little close to one another, limiting the opportunity for private or intimate conversation. The chef personally came out of the kitchen to our table and made suggestions of what we might enjoy eating, carefully explaining the various dishes. Everything on the menu was enticing.
"Cicchetti" is the Venetian dialect word for small portions or tastes of various appetizers, something similar to tapas in Spain. We shared three different cicchetti, which were all skillfully prepared and screamed with flavor. My favorite was the Baby Calamari Salad, however, the Tuna Tartar and Sarde Saor (sweet and sour sardines) were also very good. For our entree, we selected a large Rombo (Turbot fish), which was slowly roasted with a mixture of potatoes, cherry tomatoes, capers, black olives and artichokes. Excellent, excellent, excellent! For dessert we shared a portion of Panna Cotta served with a caramel and toasted nut sauce and an assortment of homemade almond cookies. The chef offered a us glasses of sweet Italian Passito wine to compliment the desserts.
The wine list was very limited, however, we enjoyed a bottle of Ligurian Vermentino. Prices were very reasonable and our meal, including the wine, totaled 115 euro. The only suggestion I have for the owners is to replace the paper napkins with something more suitable for this fantastic dining experience.
Cicchetteria Sapore could easily be transported to New York City, where it would be defined as a very chic restaurant. Fortunately, the owners remain in Padova, where the dining experience is much more relaxed than in NYC. I highly recommend you come and try Cicchetteria Sapore when you are visiting Padova. I will certainly return!
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