Little Fish, the upcoming restaurant from Chef Zoi Antonitsas and Brian Jarr (of Pike Place Market gem, Jarrbar), has been set due to construction and is scheduled to be completed by January in the new Pike Place MarketFront. Till then, Chef Antonitsas is testing the menu with a series of pop up dinners over the next 2 months at Cicchetti in Eastlake, highlighting small and Large dishes and desserts inspired by the land and sea. I was able to make it to the first takeover of Cicchetti bar earlier this month, where I was greeted warmly by Serafina and Cicchetti General Manager David Weeks, Brian Jarr & Chef Antonitsas. Weeks and Antonitsas have a close relationship, having both worked together at Westward.
The intimate space that is Cicchetti bar was the perfect place to test this menu; I felt both cozy and comforting, ready to take on a few courses of the new menu. I started was a few small plates, which start at $6 each and 3 for $16. I loved the Smoked Alaskan Herring Pate, over rye bread, and the Devillish Eggs were devilish indeed, covered in a vegetable ash. I rounded out these two dishes was a simple plate of radishes served with a seasoned butter and kelp salt, accompanied with some lightly pickled Watermelon radish. Crisp, light and refreshing, the meal was off to a good start. I then moved on to a Washington foraged salad, made up of watercress, lobster mushrooms and an elderberry vinaigrette and dylan goat milk cheese from Yarmuth Farms. This salad screamed Pacific Northwest; it was like eating a plate made in the Olympic rainforest. I also tried a Chitarra Nero “carbonara”. The dish was a rift of the classic Italian carbonara, but inspired by the sea. The pasta, made of fresh black squid ink, egg was replaced by salmon caviar and bacon replaced with a jamon bardo, and tossed with smoked olive oil and chive. Smokey, and as salty as the sea, I found it harder to put my fork down the more bites I took. The next course was a take on a hot dog, but rather using Spanish octopus instead of a hot dog frank. The octopus was braised, served on a toasted sesame bun, and topped with a saffron aioli and kelp pickles; this “Oct Dog” was a delight to eat. Creative and playful, my only wish was more Saffron Aioli, because I could put that on everything! For dessert, I chose the “Baked Seattle” – a hemp milk and green herb panna cotta, topped with toasted meringue and fresh Blackberries from Hayton Farms (May I have another, please?).
Overall, I thought the dishes were fun, creative and tasted amazing. Little Fish will make a great fit in Pike Place Market once it opens, and I expect it will be busy in the months following its opening. I highly encourage anyone with an open mind and empty stomach to plan a dinner to one of the next two pop ups. This is one sneak preview, that you don’t want to miss.
The next pop up dinner will be held Monday, November 6th and again on Monday, December 4th from 5PM – 10PM. Reservations can be made online or by phone on the Cicchetti website, or follow the link below.
Little Fish FB: https://www.facebook.com/littlefishseattle
Little Fish Instagram: @Littlefishseattle