Monday, October 7, 2013

cucina ristorante.

When a few friends from overseas came to visit, I was given the the task of finding somewhere to lunch.  Having perused over Cucina's menu over extensively during my procrastinations, I knew this was the place I wanted to try out.

Opting for an inside seat, we had a pleasant view of the restaurant's gorgeous antique decor.  There was also a nice breeze coming in through their open doors which meant we could enjoy the lovely weather outside without the traffic whizzing by.

Rocket, Pear & Walnut Salad: wild rocket, honeyed walnuts, pear, olive oil & sticky balsamic ($12.90)
Probably my favourite dish of the four, this salad had a party of different flavours and textures going on.  The sharp cheese really cut through the honeyed sweetness walnuts and balsamic vinegar, while the pear provided a clear and refreshing crunch.  It was big enough to share among four people, but it was so delicious that I could have finished it all by myself.

Veal Cotoletta: crumbed veal with mozarella, potato puree, sauteed vegetables & mushroom sauce ($26.90)
For dinner, this would have been great, but for lunch it was pretty heavy.  The veal was not 'crumbed' but was very tender and easy to cut through and chew.  The vegetables were cooked reasonably well and provided a pretty good cut to the heavy potatos and pumpkins, but the sauce was just so oily.  By the time we finished the lunch there were little pools of oil gathering on the dish.

Tomato & Prosciutto Pizza: marinated tomatoes, chilli, bocconcini, prosciutto slice & shaved parmesan ($23.90)
The pizza came out looking magnificent with fresh slices of prosciutto and melted cheese - but do you see any bocconcini? I don't.  Sad face.  It could be the already melted cheese but I couldn't taste it when I was eating it.  Aside from that the pizza was pretty standard fare, which was a let down.  The chilli came through pretty well but I didn't like the crust.  It was too dry.

Risotto Zucca: roasted pumpkin, spinach, pine nuts, mushrooms & broccoli ($19.90)
The risotto was superb.  The rice was cooked perfectly so it was slightly chewy but not so hard that it feels like eating uncooked grains.  The white wine and cream sauce, very rich and slightly oily, could have been too heavy but was saved by the plentiful amounts of vegetables.  I probably could have eaten this whole thing as well.

The things I loved most about Cucina were it's classy but laid-back interior and very spacious design and their friendly, attentive staff.   We switched tables three times ("it's too windy!" "it's too noisy!") and the waitress calmly took it into her stride.

The dishes were overall fairly good - standard Italian-restaurant food - but nothing absolutely outstanding.  I would come back again to try some of their antipasto (the slice eggplant and saffron and mozzarella arancini sound amazing) and their pasta.  The parpedelle ragu is delicious, apparently.

Cucina North Adelaide on Urbanspoon

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