Italy holds a very special place in my heart. It’s been almost 3 years since I first visited and almost 2 years since I moved there for a short term mission trip. I absolutely fell in love with the people, the culture, and of course, the food! I lived in Sesto Calende for 3 months and I would now consider it my second home. There is something so welcoming about the Italian culture that is unlike anything else. A lot of that takes place around the table. Dinners that last for hours with too many courses and glasses of wine to even bother counting. It’s fellowship with friends and strangers (who at the end of the meal are your new friends).
Recently, a few friends wanted to go to dinner but, not just any dinner. They wanted something where we could have a big group. Where the atmosphere was relaxed, the food fabulous, and where we felt right at home. Well, in Dallas, it’s not always easy to find a place that can accommodate a large group (8-9 ppl) at 7pm on a Friday. So, I threw out a few options and my friends decided on Zio Cecio. I have to say, this was one of the best dining experiences that I had had in a while. It was a beautiful evening. We sat at a long table by the kitchen and were still able to enjoy the weather with the open doors that led to the patio.
When eating Italian, I always like to start off with a cocktail. So, I ordered my personal favorite, Cocchi Classico.
Once everyone arrived, we started with appetizers for the table “family style”. Of course, we were at a bit of a loss as to what to order (everything looked so good)! But, thankfully, Chef Francesco was there to help guide us! So, we went with the Fritto di Paranza (calamari), Polpo Alle Spezie Al Carbone (grilled octopus in red sauce), Di Manzo Al Tartufo (carpaccio), and a green salad.
(Polpo Alle Spezie Al Carbone)
(Di Manzo Al Tartufo)
For our entrees, it was definitely a tough choice! I was debating between the chicken and the lamb. But in the end, Francesco helped me make that decision as well and I went for the lamb (Scottadita Del Limbara). It was absolutely amazing! So tender and full of flavor. And, considering every plate was licked clean, I would venture to say that everything was fabulous.
(Scottadita Del Limbara)
(Mezzeluna Alla Fonduta Di Pistacchio)
(Al Salmone Affumicato)
(Cioppino with Razor Clams)
Of course with fabulous Italian food you have to have wine! And, you can’t go wrong with anything on the list at Zio. We went with a less expensive bottle for the table. The Palazzo della Torre. To me, it’s full bodied with cherry and tobacco notes (I’m not a wine expert but that’s just what I tasted!). Regardless, it was a hit! So, we ordered two!
It was overall a fantastic evening with great food, wine, and friends! Walking into Zio is like walking into the home of an Italian friend. My parents and their friends have a dinner party once a month. It just so happened that it fell on this same Friday night. What’s more of a coincidence? My mom’s friend (who is in charge of planning these dinner parties) happened to pick Zio for them as well! They arrived a bit after we did and sat outside on the patio. They are still raving about it! They loved their food, wine, and their server, RJ! Everyone who works their is passionate and enthusiastic about their job. You can tell they enjoy it. If you haven’t been, you are in for a treat and a very Italian experience. Buon Appetito!