A warm crackling fire greets you as you enter the cavernous-yet-cozy Cucina Rustica. Step through the stone archways under the massive raw wood and sink into a skillfully carved wooden chair. Sip a glass of bubbly prosecco and nibble on an assortment of breads and roasted garlic as you peruse the extensive Italian-influenced menu and massive wine list.
THE PERFECT PAIR
Alone, the acidity of the Trentino, Italy pinot noir shocked the taste buds, but paired with the acidic tomato broth of the minestrone soup, both flavors became smooth, almost creamy.
“The acids cancel each other out,” said sommelier Brad Cowin.
Cowin, along with a host of sommeliers that make up the impressive wine program, prides himself on finding the perfect drink pairings for your meal.
The impressive pinot grigio from the same region was an outstanding addition to the caprese salad of mozzarella – made in-house daily – heirloom tomatoes, basil, olive oil and a 20-year-old balsamic vinegar.
Cucina Rustica serves a sprawling breakfast buffet, in addition to a la carte lunch and dinner.
Food and family are at the nucleus of Italian culture and Cucina Rustica honors that with antipasti and shared plates. Everyone at the table can dig into generous helpings of steamed mussels, spinach and artichoke cannelloni or fritto misto di pesce, a scrumptious grouping of fried shrimp, calamari and smelt served with mild aioli and flavorful arrabiata sauce.
Executive chef Rahm Fama claims Italy as the Mother Land but isn’t a slave to the traditional recipes, adding his own twists to the old favorites. Fried capers add a delightful little crunch to the tender veal cutlet in Fama’s veal scaloppini. The saltiness of the meat, in a lemon butter sauce, beautifully balances the mild potato-stuffed ravioli and sauteed spinach.