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Cicciolina: Carnal pleasures

With a mouth-watering selection of Italian dishes nestled comfortably between the sumptuous curves of film goddesses Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, Cicciolina provides ample foreplay for lovers of good food and wine.

Image for Cicciolina: Carnal pleasures
Photo by David Ghione

In step with our cover theme this month, we decided to review a restaurant named after the legendary Italian porn star-cum-MP, the first woman to get elected showing off her tits at electoral rallies.

Enter the pavilion to the side of Görlitzer Park that once housed the Mexican La Pulqueria, and it’s classy mammophilia that awaits diners – black-and-white pics of curvaceous film goddesses Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida (affectionately nicknamed “La Lollo” or “Miss Titty” by the French) – and a welcoming smell of pizza.

A pizzaiolo officiates behind the bar, right in the middle of the dining room, triggering appetites with the aromas of his well-kneaded concoctions, 33 sorts to choose from (€5.40-9.50), with a Dinkel (spelt) flour option for intolerant stomachs (expect a slightly crunchier crust).

The stars are combos like the gut-busting “Cicciolina” (€9.50), topped with cooked ham, mushrooms, artichokes, peppers, olives, spicy salami, zucchini and a fried egg! The lighter “Divina” (€7.50), bearing just arugula, parmesan and fresh cherry tomatoes on top of a special home-made cherry tomato sauce, is perfect for more delicate constitutions.

In homage to the previous Mexican occupant of the space (the current owner was a partner), “La Pulquería” (€8) is topped with Tyrolean bacon, beans, chillies, spicy salami and garlic.

While the pizza is satisfying – light crust, high quality garnish, original combinations – what’s truly exceptional here is the antipasti plate, surely one of the best of its kind in Berlin. At €18 for two people, it’s a meal in itself, a feast that includes the classics: cuts of cured ham and smoked bresaola, an assortment of Italian cheeses, grilled veg, vitello tonnato (roast veal with a delicious homemade tuna sauce), tomato and mozzarella, etc., as well as delicious sautéed calamaretti on a bed of puréed chickpea with a dollop of rosemary oil.

But the real hits are the splendid, tongue-tingling caponata – the Sicilian sweet-sour aubergine salad made with caramelised vinegar, pine nuts and raisins – and a splendid aubergine parmigiana, delicately breaded layers of tomato, aubergine and mozzarella baked in the oven. Order a glass of their large selection of superior Italian wines to match – now take a deep breath.

The changing weekly menu sports a revolving selection of meat and fish dishes and Italian standards like risottos and homemade pasta dishes. The lunch menu isn’t a bad deal either (€6-9 for a two-to-three course meal!) and the desserts (€4) live up to one’s expectations of tiramisu (alcohol-free, for the kids), panna cotta with wild berries, crème brûlée and chocolate mousse.

Throughout the meal, La Lollo’s breasts watched over our corner table. We left satisfied, titillated, hungry for more and ready for other carnal pleasures – the ample-portioned journey through Italy is excellent foreplay for any couple on a hot date.