By the time we hit Friday this week, we were so done. We had worked 11 consecutive days, thanks to a conference last weekend in Dallas, and we really needed a night to wind down. We decided to hit one of our local favorites, C19 (formerly Cichetteria 19).
This was actually only our third time there, but one of the things that enamors us to this place is the way we are recognized and greeted as regulars. They are just so friendly here, and that goes a long way as far as our overall experience.
C19 features Venetian small plates, so we started with baccala (cured cod veneziana, black polentina), broccoli di rabe (with canellini beans and cherry tomatoes), and original Venetian aged prime meatballs.
We had had the broccoli rabe before and knew it was good, but it was our first time trying the meatballs. Holy moly, those were delicious.
We moved on to the next round and ordered the seasonal beet salad (with mixed greens and local goat cheese), and the affetati rustici (cured meats from PorcSalt, including prosciutto, speck, and salami).
This was pretty much the best meat board we’d ever had. The quality and flavor of the meats was unbelievable. We’d seen PorcSalt at the RIttenhouse Farmer’s Market any number of times, but this really convinced us that we should be getting their charcuterie more often. This course also demonstrated C19′s overall approach to getting ingredients from local farms and local producers. Everything in this salad and this meat board was local, local, local. And freaking delicious.
We were still feeling munchy, so we finished things off with a cheese board of parmigiano-reggiano, local goat cheese, and manchego.
We know, those three particular cheeses don’t SOUND very adventurous or exciting. But once again, the quality was amazing, particularly the local soft goat cheese, which was like the ice cream of cheese (OK not really; La Tur is the ice cream of cheese, so this was more like the yogurt of cheese). We were told it was only a few days old, and it did taste incredibly fresh.
Throughout the meal, we enjoyed wine by the glass from C19′s short but quite enjoyable wine list. The whole time we were there, we just kept commenting on how damn happy we were and what a great time we were having. That’s the way a good Italian meal should be.