Cecconi's was a Friday night choice and after work we emptied our mind of business and embraced the weekend. Cecconi's helped us relax without sending us into an early stupor as can be the case after a busy week. The atmosphere was buzzy and light but not overly loud. I liked the glamorous long banquettes for the tables for two and the round tables for bigger parties. It was good to see a blend of different groups - friends catching up, couples on a date, birthday parties, families, the whole range.
I started with San Daniele prosciutto and mozzarella which was exactly as described and I loved the creaminess of the cheese and the saltiness of the prosicutto.
Steve waxed lyrical about the crispy quail with roasted beetroot and fetta. He loved the beetroot and fetta combo with the tasty bird meat. One small gripe was it was described as crispy and it wasn't but he still loved it.
We went from a mini bird to a bigger bird and I chose the corn-fed chicken breast with confit wing, soft polenta and truffles. So rich and comforting, I could feel it nourish the depths of my soul. Such an amazing dish for Winter it was heartwarming and provided the reassurance of a hug from Nonna!
Steve's choice of herb crusted lamb rack with braised neck, white bean and tomato ragu was vibrant in colour and zingy where mine was creamy. We shared the Caesar salad which had been described to me previously by a colleague that it was the BEST Caesar salad she had ever had and that includes versions in Italy, in New York and in Australia. Did we agree? Well it was a good Caesar salad and it was close and infinitely better than some we've had but we still think the first ever Caesar salad we had at The Atlantic takes the crown! Steve also objected to avocado in the Cecconi version.
Our transition to dolce included a ‘Sticky date pudding’, date sponge, salted caramel, oatmeal ice-cream which was jazzily presented in an upturned espresso cup. Steve enjoyed this version which was a twist on the classic. I was presented with the hazelnut torta, milk chocolate ganache, oreo crumbs, white chocolate ice cream and I loved the cumbly cake and crumbs with the beautiful ice cream. However it wasn't what I ordered!
I had ordered the tiramisu and I was a bit surprised with the hazelnut torta arrived but given the sticky date pudding was a modern reinvention, I did wonder and think maybe this was the tiramisu but a quick check with the waiter confirmed that an error had been made.
I was very happy to stick with the torta as it was so good but the waiter kindly delivered the tiramisu as well. Steve doesn't like tiramisu so he finished off the remainder of the torta whilst I made a start on the tiramisu. Light and boozy it was certainly an adult version and I have to admit I found the Strega soaked sponge a touch too overpowering and preferred the torta but couldn't get it back from Steve!
We really enjoyed Friday night at Cecconi's and found it classically good and really quite understated for the quality. It offers that high end Italian cuisine that is more elegant than the usual faster pasta and casual pizza.