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March 13, 2014

If you’re opening an Italian-inflected fine dining concept, the iconic Harry’s Bar in Venice is more than a good place to seek inspiration – such was the thought process for chef Mike Sheerin, although it’s fair to say he was at an advantage with a resumé strewn with Michelin starred experience, and hours spent behind kitchen doors at illustrious establishments Jean-Georges, WD-50, and Blackbird. Cicchetti – an Italian term for little bites or Venetian tapas, if you will – is Sheerin’s second solo venture following the success of his collaboration with brother Pat on Trenchermen, and the much-anticipated new venture has so far been a hit with locals and critics alike.

With interiors outfitted in clean whites and exposed wood beams, Cicchetti features colourful share-and-tear plates including house-cured sardines with a whipped horseradish gremolata and pumpernickel crisps; devilishly moreish pork cracklin puffs (dehydrated salty pig skin) dusted with rosemary and Parmesan; three bruschetta varieties topped with duck liver, pork belly and tuna conserva; and a spicy seafood stew brimming with mussels, octopus, lobster, and grilled prawns. Rounding off the menu in true stile italiano is a selection of eight gelati, ranging from pistachio to blood-orange and served with a buttery shortbread biscuit, and it should go without saying that the wine and cocktails too are unashamedly Italian, like the zingy Buongiorno made with St George Terroir gin, Aperol, bergamot, lemon and egg white. Salute to Harry’s!

671 N St Clair St / Streeterville / +1 312 642 1800 / lunch 11am-3.30pm Mon-Fri,
dinner 5-9pm Sun-Thu, 5-11pm Fri-Sat /