I walked by this teeny little place, called Dieci Dieci, while walking Ice (Jack Russell Terrier) one day and I saw some things in the window that peeked my interest, a new tapas menu at $5 each (in addition to their regular menu) and a list of wines for $5 a glass or $20 per bottle. Everything on the menu looked Italian but the two women chatting inside were Japanese. hmm…As one of them came out to hand me a business card, I wondered if this was like a mini Basta Pasta.

A day or two later, we went to see Star Trek (I originally wrote Star Wars and I think Lon is going to divorce me now) with Bill and Tim, and Dieci was fresh on my mind as we thought of dinner options. Bill had other plans, but Tim (who thankfully had a camera) was up for trying this little place that I really knew nothing about. I just had a good feeling.

As soon as we sat, Lon ordered the Crostini Sampler so that we could eat something while we tried to narrow down are choices. Each tasted just what the name sounded like: tomato concasse, anchovy mashed potato, broccoli and shrimp, spicy tuna, and foie gras. It was simple and fresh.


The Bagna Cauda was the least exciting for me, blanched vegetables with an anchovy dipping sauce.

Magna Cauda

The Kobe Beef Carpaccio was rolled with spinach and ricotta filling. Each piece looked carefully placed, and the thick balsamic syrup artistically drawn. It was a pretty generous portion made with wonderfully fresh ingredients, but under-seasoned.

kobe beef carpaccio

The meatballs look small in this picture but there was four (2-bite) meatballs, tender and bouncy, in a cheesy tomato sauce. This is what you want to order if you bring a child with you, but you’ll likely steal a meatball.


Our waitress recommendeda Shrimp and Scallop Special, and it was certainly appreciated. The Shrimp are engulfed in a crispy nest of noodles, the plump scallops are cleverly scored, and the green sauce, fruit-y and seafood-y, was just perfect.

shrimp and scallop special

The Mussels in Tomato Sauce is a classic, nothing fancy, but executed well with fresh plump mussels.

Mussels with Tomato Sauce

The Spicy Octopus is nicely marinated with a thin onion slaw.

spicy octopus

The Squid Ink Tagliorini arrived without the calamari but they did re-make it for us. The squid legs were perfect but the calamari rings were a bit chewy. Still, it was my favorite dish because the fresh pasta was amazing, with the bounciness of top rate soba (also kinda looked like soba), and the sauce, studded with capers and olives, was one of the tastiest red sauces I’ve had. There was something extra fruity, almost berry-like in it. I would go back just to eat this dish.

squid ink tagliorini

We were stuffed but had been eyeing desserts all night. (At a place this small, you can see what everyone else is eating.) The Chocolate Gateaux was forgettable.

Chocolate Gateaux

The distinct (actually magnified) Earl Grey flavor in the Creme Brulee was better than I could have asked for. It was luxuriously creamy beneath a thin sugar shell, not-too-sweet, with pretty plating. The vanilla ice cream wasn’t necessary though, too similar in feel.

Early Grey Creme Brulee

Although the food and ambiance is quite different from Basta Pasta, there was a strong resemblence in that Japanese done Italian feels a lot lighter. You can eat so much and walk away stuffed but not lethargic. It came out to roughly $40 per person (with 1 glass of rose, including tax and tip) but you really don’t need to order that much, and I think you’ll come away quite happy.

posted by jessica at 09:52 AM Filed under Italian, News, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.