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“Yum! Don't Let the Menu Scare You Away!”
Review of Cucina 24

Cucina 24
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Ranked #92 of 845 Restaurants in Asheville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Otis Street
Description: Chef & owner Brian Canipelli opened Cucina 24 in 2008 on Wall Street in the center of downtown Asheville, NC. Our kitchen is focused on melding the traditions and philosophies of Italian cookery with ingredients found in the mountains of the American South. We work closely with a number of area farms and our menus reflect produce that they bring to us.
Reviewed December 14, 2013

During a birthday weekend in Asheville, my boyfriend and I received a recommendation for this restaurant from a bartender at a wine bar in the area. We wanted somewhere classy with nice food. Cucina 24 was exactly that!

We dined on a Friday night at 6:30pm and had no wait whatsoever. We were immediately seated by a kind hostess and a server greeted us soon after we sat down, handed us our menus and invited us to ask him any questions we may have about the meals.

However, after receiving the menu, we panicked. We're definitely NOT foodies and had no idea what half of the items were on the menu. We couldn't even pronounce them! We seriously considered leaving. Thankfully, we remembered what the waiter had said about asking him questions and decided to be "that table" that asked a million questions about the menu.

Our waiter couldn't have been kinder. He answered each question with a smile and explained each dish very well. He didn't belittle us or make us feel dumb over our lack of knowledge at all. It was refreshing!

The meal was divine. The flavors were unique and blended very well together. Next time we are in Asheville we will definitely visit Cucina 24 again!

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1  Thank Ellen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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373 - 377 of 592 reviews

Reviewed November 15, 2013

We visited asheville for a week and ate at a variety of restaurants. This was by far our favorite! We visited there on a tour and decided to make a reservation after the most tender pork cheek we'd ever tasted. We had the tasting menu and the chef outdid himself! Our waiter was very knowledgeable and knew all the ins and outs of our food even though it was not on the menu. All the food was fresh, innovative and tasted amazing! I do not like raw foods and they adjusted the menu for me accordingly. Next time in asheville we will def be going back and will be telling all our friends about our great experience.

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1  Thank Becky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2013 via mobile

We had first crossed paths with the food here on one of the local restaurant tours and decided then that we'd like to try a full dinner.

My duck entree disappointed at $26. The duck itself was more toward the medium side of the requested medium rare and was fairly tough. The bacon bits and the brussels sprouts were both too charred; overall, the dish while acceptably flavorful was overcooked. And while small pieces of apple added a fresh note, the absence of any sauce seemed odd in a duck dish.

My partner thought her salad's champagne vinaigrette dressing was somewhat bitter. She did think the gorgonzola in the salad was delicious.

On the plus side, the service was excellent and the place itself is very attractive.

1  Thank Mikewrite246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

When you go out for a special meal, you want everything to be perfect from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. But in life not everything goes as planned, and so what is key is how the imperfections are handled. At Cucina 24, things were handled pretty well.

When we arrived for our 8:45pm reservation, our table was not ready, but the hostess offered us the drink menu and invited us to wait at the bar. I had never been to Cucina 24 so I was looking around and one of the servers kindly asked if I needed any help. Sitting in the bar, the bartender came to our table and took our orders. I had the Aperol spritz and my friend asked for a refreshing cocktail without bitters and the bartender wisely suggested a French 75. Both cocktails were excellent and we enjoyed watching the bartender hand crack the ice. So, what began as a potential miss (table not ready) became a highlight.

We were looking forward to Cucina 24's tasting menu as the best way to sample everything the restaurant has to offer. Unfortunately, our waiter informed us that they were not serving the tasting menu at that hour. I see some reviewers are critical that the restaurant runs out of some dishes, and I certainly wasn't excited to hear that there was no tasting menu available, but I can understand this is going to happen when you serve fresh, seasonal food. (We ate there in September 2013, and looking at the menu in November '13 not a single dish we ordered was on the current menu.)

Ordering off the menu, then, we began with an heirloom tomato salad which was delicious, as was the duck, served with an interesting and tasty onion jam (and I am not a big fan of onions). The home made spaghetti was cooked well, as would be expected from an Italian-ish restaurant, but so was the shrimp (and I have had alot of poorly cooked shrimp over the years).

Amid this deliciousness, our vegetable course got lost. When we mentioned this to our waiter, and he was apologetic and immediately went to check. Two other people got involved right away (the expediter and manager?) and the waiter came back, apologized again, and said he would get it right out. Would have been nice to have that dish, but I appreciated how they tried to make it right and we decided just to have more dessert instead.

The desserts were a highlight of the meal. Olive oil cake gelato. Basil jalapeno sorbet. These flavor combinations were different and just worked. We also had the deconstructed peach upside down cake, which was good but not great. Some dishes are better left intact. Along with these desserts we had the house-made orangcello, which was awesome and wrapped up the meal in the same positive way it began. The bar could be the best part of this restaurant.

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1  Thank David Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013

A bit expensive. Typical Italian fare but not the best I've had. Out of the way from center of all activities. Owner also owns restaurants next door.

Thank chapelhillirishgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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