A chic all-day dining venue with a buzzing atmosphere, Cicchetti (pronounced Chi-KET-tee), serves freshly prepared regional small plates typically eaten in bars in Venice. It is a traditional relaxed style of Italian eating with tapas dishes bought to the table when ready - perfect to share with friends or enjoy alone, with a beer, glass of wine or cocktail.
The extensive menu includes meat, fish, pasta and pizza as well as speciality seafood and seasonal specials.
Much of the food is sourced from the best producers in Italy such as Bottarga from Sardinia, Burrata from Naples, Culatello from Parma and, of course, Autumn white truffle from Alba. This Italian produce is also the basis for the restaurant's stunning, artistic window displays of breads, seafood, fruits, vegetables and fine wines.
Each season Cicchetti launches an expertly crafted menu, with new creations featuring alongside the restaurant's long-standing classics and established favourites.
San Carlo Cicchetti boasts an enviable reputation for outstanding food and impeccable service and has achieved numerous awards and accolades. As with all San Carlo Group venues, the Covent Garden restaurant attracts a wide mix of customers from tourists and families to business people and well-known celebrities.
All restaurants in the San Carlo Group offer a true Italian experience and epitomise all that is best in genuine Italian hospitality.
San Carlo Cicchetti Covent Garden has a sister venue Cicchetti at 215 Piccadilly, London.
San Carlo Cicchetti Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Look it's a bit noisy but that is because it is usually full. The dishes are perhaps standard Italian but nevertheless excellent. If it ain't broke etc. Easy to get to, welcome staff, good grub and reasonably priced wines."
"As much as we liked this after theatre place two years ago, I can only say a disappointment this time. The fried calamari was fine but no red sauce. One of the pastas was rancid, and it was removed from the bill. The other pasta was covered with a way too oily sauce."
"Group of six, visited the Ciccheti in Covent Garden on Saturday evening. After been seated, the waiter seemed very domineering by almost insisting on us having 12 dishes and sharing them. When this was rejected, he was not happy as we wanted individual dishes to suit our tastes. Reluctantly, he took our order only to receive very disappointing and overpriced starters. The mixed plate of seafood ,had one prawn each, one scallop and a few calamari. This plate cost £20 . We had three starters and one plate did not have any scallops at all, which he brought to the waiters attention. These were brought to the table ten minutes later. One of the prawns was just the shell and no flesh inside. We had individual main course dishes, one being sea bass which was pricey. This arrived at the table to my total surprise. Two small pieces on a plate with nothing else. I have never had sea bass served this this without any trimmings. A near £300 bill which included a hefty service charge. Needless to say, a return will not occur."
"The small plates here are genuinely suitable for sharing, we had the suggested 6 dishes between 3 people and were well satisfied. Pasta dishes, pizzas and other "main" dishes were all delicious. Ossobucco was exceptional BUT Service can be very variable. Staff often wandering around like headless chickens not knowing which table ordered a dish. Water and drinks took an age to arrive as did our order of tiramisu. This was dry and really needed the glass of Marsala which was supposed to accompany it but by then we had lost the will to live and felt there was no point in asking for it! It took 15 minutes and many requests to get the bill. The manager was very apologetic but they really need to get their act together and get the service to a level to match the food.."
Harden's survey result
“Don’t be fooled by its prominent location, just off Piccadilly Circus, that it’s just one for the tourists” – this “bustling, noisy and so-atmospheric” Venetian brasserie (which also has a similar sibling, more tucked away in Covent Garden) “looks like a tourist trap, but offers an authentic culinary experience” with its “delicious small plates” (cicchetti) – “a format that caters to all appetites”, all at “reasonable prices”. Staff are “enthusiastic and professional” and “feed off the buzz of the place”, which “feels smart, even if tables are very close together”.
“Glitzy interiors (and customers!)” are a hallmark of these “fun and buzzy” Venetian brasseries (part of an increasingly sizeable national chain, based in Manchester). Although the locations are “a little touristic” – particularly the large branch near Piccadilly Circus – the “feel is genuinely North Italian”, the food is “good for the price” , service is “warm” and “the overall experience is very good”.
“You feel like you’re in a smart Venetian brasserie” at these “classy and sassy” – if “hectic and noisy” – Italians (part of a national chain) which successfully create “a brilliant vibe in tourist hellhole locations”, particularly the “buzzy, buzzy, buzzy” branch a few feet from Piccadilly Circus. Service is “on the ball” and you get “proper” cooking from “an interesting selection of Italianate tapas-style dishes”.
“If the Tardis had been done up with a wealth of gold and mirrors” it would be akin to the “deceptively small-looking” Covent Garden branch of this northern-owned Venetian tapas chain, which is a “quieter and calmer” choice than its “really buzzy” sibling, “conveniently located a few steps from Piccadilly Circus tube”. Critics accuse them of “slightly aggressive pricing”, but most reports praise the “extensive, something-for-everyone menu” of “fairly authentic” small plates.