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From Venice to the Shire

“We serve cicchetti.” That’s Italian small plates, ordered like tapas, so you experience a variety of flavours, textures and styles in one meal. Cicchetti, unique to Venice, are not really small plates at all. Actually, they are small bites ordered with a tipple of wine in one of Venice’s charming back street bacari bars, as I discovered whilst researching this relatively new dining genre before opening Nuovo.

English style Cicchetti (stay with me), I discovered, was becoming a fashionable dining style in trendy restaurants in London and Manchester, after it was recommended to me by a comrade restaurateur. Now, although I’ve always been a “big plate” kinda restaurateur myself, I investigated and absolutely fell in love with this seemingly new way of eating Italian. Never mind the poetic licence with the Venetian style, Cicchetti, when served like the Spanish tapas or Greek mezze, proved to be a wonderful dining experience. Rather than feeling it betrayed the Venetian tradition, on reflection, this way of dining far more accurately represented the delicate, flavoursome and portioned dishes I relish on my Italian travels. Not so much “meat and two veg”, as a meat, and a pasta, and vegetable, and bit of this and morsel of that, all consumed over a long, sociable and leisurely sitting.

Without too much consideration for the work involved in offering such a range of high quality plates served to one table at one time, Nuovo Cicchetti was born. What a fantastic culinary joyride it’s been so far. Working with superb local chefs (who initially thought I was crazy) an innovative menu was created. A menu which, it transpires, seems to galvanise their creativity and culinary skills. So much so that we need to change the menu twice a year. We proudly offer our own ice creams, bake our own breads daily, smoke fish, make an enormous number of arancini and so, so much more. Without doubt, Cicchetti ignited our culinary enthusiasm.


cicchetti – grill – vino
lunch – dinner – spritz – alfresco – cocktails – private dining
Open Monday to Saturday – Reservations 01604 601100
104a Abington Street, Northampton NN1 2BP