Caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes and burrata cheese
  • Caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes and burrata cheese
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Civico 1845

1845 India Street, Little Italy

My in-laws took my kids to Florida for a week, so my wife and I decided to do a “staycation” of sorts by eating out every night while they were gone. Some restaurants we had wanted to try for a while, and there was one we wanted to return to: Civico 1845 in Little Italy. The Italian food is authentic and reminds us of our honeymoon and the ambiance is both busy and relaxed, bustling yet intimate. The main reason we like it is that the menu has plenty for both vegans and meat eaters.

Interior

My wife was vegan when we ate there before, but she recently added eggs and cheese to her diet. Still, this is a road-tested place and we were excited for at least as good of a meal as we’ve had in the past. For the most part, we weren’t disappointed.

Cruda salad

The meal started with a caprese salad made with yellow heirloom tomatoes and burrata cheese ($14). The tomatoes were sliced thin and served with arugula. Both were sprinkled with lava salt, olive oil, and creamy burrata cheese. It was a great start to the evening. So was the cruda salad ($11), which had finely sliced cauliflower, carrots, and asparagus along with strawberries, goat cheese, and a subtle white balsamic vinaigrette. It was a perfect warm weather dish. Cool, light, and refreshing. The type of salad made for global warming. This is all served with focaccia bread and olive oil.

Scialatielli Civico

As an entrée I had the Scialatielli Civico ($19), a thick-cut handmade pasta made with chile peppers. It came with cherry tomatoes, pickled cherry peppers, and Caledonian shrimp served with the heads still on. I dived right into the shrimp and pulled the tails and heads before mixing it with the pasta. I know it’s a seafood dish, but the tomatoes in the sauce and the peppers went well with a $9 glass of Barbera wine.

Ravioli with smoked cheese, served with artichokes

My wife chose the house special, a ravioli filled with smoked cheese and served with tomatoes and artichokes ($19). It was meant to be served with mushrooms or eggplant, but my wife doesn’t like either of those. She enjoyed the veggies but not the overall dish. “I’m not a fan of the smoked cheese,” she said.

Tiramisu

She had some wine as well, and we enjoyed sitting outside watching people walk through Little Italy. When we ate at Civico previously, we enjoyed the vegan tiramisu. You never would have known it was vegan. We were excited to try the regular version, and we were disappointed. It looked like a scoop of oatmeal. We flagged down the owner who explained they make it in a barrel and scoop it out that way, and we got the last portion.

“I can make you more,” he said. We decided against it, but we’ll go back to Civico 1845 again. We may order both versions of the tiramisu that night to see which one is better.

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