By Kelli N. McClain
I love Italian food — my waistline can tell you just how much. And a tiny spot on Lovers Lane called Zio Cecio is not only an Italian palate-pleaser, but it also has Sardinian flair.
Zio Cecio’s chef Francesco Farris is from Sardinia and since 2011 he’s showcased his flavors at the restaurant.
In celebration of the restaurant’s anniversary and menu revamp, I was invited to take a journey through a Sardinian feast.
It rightly began with antipasti: thinly sliced beef tenderloin cured in citrus, topped with Parmigiano and capers plus thinly sliced tuna with bottarga. It was light, tart and so irresistible that it was hard to be polite and not eat the entire platter. We also had artisan cheeses with Italian cured meats. Each bite was slightly sweet and chewy and almost enough for a meal.
[Disclosure: Zio Cecio provided The Dallas Diva with complimentary food and drinks. The opinions here are the writer’s own.]
Next were pasta and risotto, so we were in trouble! The pasta called Ghochetti came with a pork ragu that was not my favorite but still pretty tasty. My personal favorite was the bucatini del gennargentu, which is a hollow pasta with smoked pancetta, caramelized onions and cherry tomatoes in a zesty tomato sauce. How can any of those ingredients together be wrong?
In the meat department, Su Kostale was a bone-in aged ribeye marinated with Italian herbs. It was so tender and flavorful, I couldn’t resist taking the rest home.
After meat and carbs, I was almost too full, but we still had dessert samples. I promised myself one bite of each … I should have known that would be a lie.
Zio Cecio’s tiramisu, while traditional, had a little too much coffee flavor for my taste. But the beautiful limoncello cake was light, not too sweet, and gone in four bites.
Reservations, while not required, are encouraged at Zio Cecio. There’s valet parking there, so have cash on hand for a tip. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays and opens every other day at 5p.m.
Zio Cecio, 4615 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas. 214-351-1100