Tomatoes, garlic and pasta do NOT Italian food make! A truth clearly understood by the talented imaginations of CUCINA 24 Chefs who entice rich depths of flavors and perfectly balanced seasonings into their creations. It was that great rush of kitchen aromas that enveloped us as we entered the rustic brick and wood interior of Cucina, slightly noisy but in a cheerfully bustling fashion. Whisked off to our table by a native Italian server, we enjoyed the synchrony of the line in their open kitchen, and drooled past the wood burning brick oven where pizzas of renown were inventing themselves. Leisurely glasses of excellent wine were enhanced by unusual breadsticks, tall and tasty, perched like flower stems in a tabletop vase; then two fresh green salads as delicious to eat as to look at appeared -- "the freshest in local and seasonal ingredients" indeed! Our pizza Margarita outdid expectation --crust thin as could be and topped impeccably ; a second entree I couldn't resist -- Veal Meatballs -- the word "MOIST" understates them -- quite simply the best I ever ate. After the feast , too sated for dessert , coffee & cordials invited my companion and me to look beneath the superlatives justified by such superb cuisine: aware that a certain aura of barely-concealed arrogance was present in management ( an echo of which inevitably finds its way down the staff ranks). While confidence in one's product is important , humility is an attractive, balancing ingredient as well. Whether by profession or avocation, we lovers of fine cuisine have an instinct that spots the red flags. Next summer will provide opportunity for another look at CUCINA, and may their freshest ingredient remain an integrity of purpose. Oh, and may those of you headed for this dining experience remember to brush up on your conversational Italian -- most of the staff are fluent as well as knowledgeable and happy to answer questions! Buon appetito!
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