For just over a week now Cucina has opened it’s doors to the public. Cucina is brought to you by the good folks at Teatro and Vendome (still in my top 2 breakfast spots in Calgary). The list of new restaurants in Calgary has grown significantly over the past 2 years. I would say that Cucina will be at the top of the review list in no time. Their busy times are breakfast and lunch due to their location. Located in the 8th ave place building right across the street from Holt Renfrew and specializing in gourmet grab and go.
I stopped in for dinner the other night and was very impressed with the décor and of course the food was fantastic. Phil and Sebastian coffee is proudly brewed in their drip coffee and espresso drinks. The décor reminds me of something I would find in San Francisco or southern Europe. The attention to detail was impeccable. They used bent vintage spoons and napkin holders and the silverware was very unique. The fixtures very vintage and rustic looking, giving it some character.
For dinner I had the Braised short rib wrapped in a pasta shell and topped with parmesan cheese. My wife had the Osso bocco, both very tender with a signature blend of seasoning. For an appetizer we shared the chicken liver parfait. It came highly recommended so we decided to try it. This dish reminded me of a gourmet peanut butter and jelly. The liver parfait is served in a hot dish with a thin layer of solidified butter over the top to preserve the spread. Trust me it tastes a lot better than it sounds.
We enjoyed a couple glasses of wine, which were paired accordingly, to our dishes. I took a quick glance at the dessert list and noticed an interesting twist to one of my favorites, the “affogato” The traditional affogato is hot espresso poured over vanilla gelato. Cucina took this to a new level by making Phil and Sebastian espresso flavored gelato and pouring warm vanilla cream over the gelato. This may have topped my personal favorite dessert list. Next time you find your self down near 8th ave be sure to check out Cucina for breakfast, lunch, dinner or coffee. It’s closed on Sundays and Mondays and the kitchen is usually open until 9pm on weekdays