Monkey Prom.jpg
Brad Trent
Pictured is an order of Cichetti's stuffed Piquillo peppers, with his prom date.
For those of you who have never seen the TV

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Cichetti, Monkey Prostitutes and Contest Winners

Monkey Prom.jpg
Brad Trent
Pictured is an order of Cichetti's stuffed Piquillo peppers, with his prom date.
For those of you who have never seen the TV show Arrested Development, this is what it's about: Jason Bateman plays a guy who knocks up his girlfriend, played by Portia DeRossi. But then he finds out that the she was cheating on him with his arch rival, David Cross. Since he can't stand not knowing if she's carrying his child or his worst enemy's, he gets a court ordered paternity test. I forgot to say that he's really rich, that's why he doesn't want to raise some other dude's child, because he doesn't want to pass his fortune on to a kid that's not actually his. So they do amniocentesis. They discover that not only is the baby NOT his, the baby ALSO has several evil genes in common with Hitler, and so they preemptively arrest the fetus for crimes against humanity he hasn't yet committed, Minority Report- style. Using advanced technologies, the cops are not only able to arrest the baby physically, by forcefully confining his movements by virtue of a legal mandate, but also arrest his development (get it?), by halting his physiological growth in utero. And so the womb becomes his prison. The fetus is played with understated skill by Michael Cera, which comes naturally to him because he actually is a fetus.

Luckily Cichetti isn't as ridiculous as Arrested Development's premise, though it occasionally comes close. A carrot puree with feta and flat bread ($6) was whipped smooth, light and sweet and bright and carroty, and interspersed with salty white flavor- asteroids of feta. Puddled in the middle was a miniscule well of bright green olive oil, like a birdbath for an elf.

Accompanying the puree was a flat pile of pita wedges with which to scoop it. These were fresh- tasting and velvety. But, tragically, there was too much carrot puree. Luckily, an order of super absorbent sage and sea salt focaccia ($3) was able to soak up the remaining puree. The focaccia were damn tasty--lightly salted, with a glowing blonde crust, and so spongy inside they should've just floated a couple of these focaccia into the Gulf of Mexico to clean up the oil spill instead of using pelicans.

Homemade beef jerky seemed, at $9, too expensive for what amounted to maybe two ounces of jerky. For that price you got twin ribbons of jerky which lay contorted like driftwood across a green beach of romaine drizzled in a lemon-cumin vinaigrette. Sadly, the vinaigrette was harsh and tasted mostly like an envelope of stale taco mix. And the jerky had a brawny beefy flavor and was delicately herbed, but maybe was a little dry. Still, the romaine hearts were very fresh, and the jerky was lighter and far more ephemeral than its commonly found cousin, convenience store jerky. I've never tasted jerky so light. It was almost like a beef snowflake.

Piquillo peppers ($9) also seemed too expensive. The small red peppers were stuffed with a fibrous fishy wad of salt cod. Outside, the peppers were too tangy. Inside, too salty. And the textures didn't match up. What gives? That's like if a monkey was raised in a lab where they made him breast feed off of one of those wire mesh "adopted" monkey mom statues. Then the monkey grows up thinking that the wireframe monkey is how all female monkeys should look. When he gets older, he takes one of those wire mesh monkeys to the monkey prom at the Dr. Zaius Monkey Prep Academy, but everyone laughs at him because the monkey is furry but his date is wiry. Later, when he gets even older, he picks up wireframe monkey prostitutes. This is tragic. The textures don't match up. In conclusion, I didn't like the stuffed piquillo peppers that much.

The pork belly with fig marmaletta and polenta cake, on the other hand, was so fucking tasty I just wanted to smear it all over my body instead of eating it. But if I'd done that, I wouldn't have known that it was so good I would want to smear it all over my body. And that, my friends, is a paradox.

The belly, braised and sliced into rectangular cross sections, was shingled over the plate with a few chunky drifts of preserved fig and a couple triangular polenta cakes. The pork belly still had the skin attached, scorched into a blistered smoky cracklin', and the flesh beneath was so yielding and so juicy it tasted like the best pork chop your mom never cooked. The fig was sweet but didn't dominate the flavors. The polenta cakes had a delicate crust like a dragonfly's wing, but was soft inside and held together astonishingly well. They could've sold a plate of these without the pork belly for $9, that's how good these motherfucking polenta cakes were.

Cichetti is very tasty when it wants to be, though the dishes are inconsistent. It's not as good as Jason Bateman's performance in Arrested Development, but is leaps and bounds better than Jason Bateman's role in the new movie Switch, which is about how he switches his sperm and artificially inseminates single-mom Jennifer Aniston with bull semen, thus impregnating her with a Minotaur. That's what Switch is about. Cichetti is at least better than that bullshit.

Rating: 6.5 Batemen out of 10

Cichetti is located at 121 E Boston St.

For inquiries call 206-859-4155

NOW that you've had to sit all the way through my plodding workmanlike assessment of Cichetti, I'll reveal the winners of the contest to replace me for a month! I was looking for three awesome comments, and that's exactly how many I got. Here are the winners:

"Surly Girl's" description of Po Dog's wares as being "the best shafts of meat in the city" was the smuttiest description of a hot dog I've read in weeks. And believe me, I've read plenty. Still, I must criticize her wily (but ultimately futile) attempt at subterfuge by patting herself on the back via a fake name: we know "On Capitol Hill" is you. It's called an IP address, dude.

"Bitch bitch bitch's" lambasting of Avila was awesome, though I disagree with his assessment. Still, you can't deny the hilarity of phrases like "aborted Dutch baby" and references to my mom's Disco era "low- fro." I admit that I, too, ate the tater tots and agree wholeheartedly that they resembled a 1970's porn star's shaggy nutsack.

The third winner was President Awesome Man, who was so awesome he managed to write his comment in invisible ink, which was why nobody but the Weekly's web administrators could read it. But it's lucky that President Awesome Man's comment was invisible, because it was so awesome that if you read it your head would explode. I was only able to read it because technicians put a head explosion containment unit on my head. Well done, President Awesome Man!

Plus there's a fourth, secret guest host.

Finally, my apologies to the guy who described the taco truck. I thought your writing created a very realistic sense of place, but you can't describe someone as being "yellow" unless they're cowardly, and you're a Wild West cowboy.

To the winners: I'll be in touch.

 
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