Italian snacks at Cicchetti
Cicchetti (pronounced "chick-ket-tee") are appetizers, kind of like the Italian version of Spanish tapas--small bites, often meant for sharing. In Venice, they're often served at bacari or osterias, which proffer salty snacks and simple food to complement wine or cocktails. Click through this gallery to get a close-up look at six dishes on the namesake cicchetti section of the menu at Cicchetti. --Michael Nagrant, RedEye dining contributor
Image 1 of 6
Aged hanger steak carpaccio
Sheerin's presentations often look like scenes from a peaceful forest. A carpet of marbled, thinly sliced circles of beef was topped with a garden of wispy cauliflower slices, splashes of pale green aioli and a sprinkle of sour and fruity sorrel leaves ($15). The beef itself looks like standard carpaccio, but there's way more to it. The slices of hormone- and antibiotic-free meat come from house-butchered hanger steaks that have been formed in to a cylinder and glued together with transglutaminase (also known as meat glue) and aged for two weeks in a fridge; during that time, the beef loses moisture and a mineral-rich flavor concentrates. The cauliflower is dehydrated in an oven until crispy and tastes like an earthy potato chip, and the aioli is blended with sweet golden raisins and tangy capers to make a velvety sauce that moistens the air-dried beef. If you can only order one dish off the cicchetti section, this is it.