Food 6 / 10
Drink 7 / 10
Atmos 7 / 10
Cicheti – Wine and Venetian-style Snacks
The Longer Read
Cicheti opened in early December 2018. It’s a wine bar/restaurant offering tapas style snacks.
Cicheti (Chee-keti) are a Venice thing. The comparison with tapas is a fair one; the Venetian tradition of andar a cicheti means to head off for a glass of wine and a cicheti (little snack) in a bàcaro or two. A bàcaro is somewhere between a bar and restaurant and pub. It’s a type of its own, but a good one is cheerful and welcoming. If you’re visiting Venice and looking for nightlife, you can basically forget it, but a tour of bàcari will make up for that.
Cicheti, (the Cheltenham wine bar) is a pleasant space. It’s smallish, like a wine bar should be, spotlessly clean with big wooden tables, the sort of place where its easy to find a quiet corner for a spot of gossip. The short wine list reads well with, for example, in the red corner: an entry level Valpolicello, a Sicily Allegro (Nero D’Avola ?) at £4 and a Super Tuscan at £6.50. Several wines were unavailable when we called in. Crostini can be ordered to accompany drinks, at £2 a pop, cheese plates and meat plates at £7. As with tapas, Venetian cicheti can be mundane or ambitious according to the chef’s skills. The cheese plate had 5 cheeses, all in pretty good nick.
Cheltenham’s Most Interesting Foodie Street
Cicheti joins several other good things in Regent Street which is now Cheltenham’s most interesting foodie street, next to such places as Koj, CheeseWorks, Coffee Dispensary and Kibou. We liked it. The chap behind the bar was’t particularly clued up on the wines, but a friendly sort. Greek though, so stood out a bit in this most Italian of Cheltenham wine bars.
Favourite new fact discovered whilst Googling ‘cicheti’ – in Venice, if going out for a glass of wine, you might refer to this as an ombre (Italian for a shadow). This referred to the idea that the best bars were on the shady side of the street.