Recently, I celebrated my birthday with good friends at Cucina. I’ve wanted to try this place for a while now and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. Besides, dining with really good friends means that you get to sample their plate too! I loved the look and feel of the restaurant – very cozy and rustic. The restaurant has a certain charm to it with it’s warmly lit setting and antique table and chairs.
I started with the Sunworks Farm Chicken Liver Parfait $14 accompanied with sour cherry-balsamic cipollini jam and ciabatta crostinis. The parfait was absolutely deletable! It was creamy, rich and had the smoothest texture I’ve ever experienced with chicken livers. The sour cherry-balsamic cipollini jam paired perfectly with it, adding both a hint of sweetness and tartness. I would not hesitate to order this again.
Peaches had the Vitello Tonnato $14. This dish is a sous vide milk fed striploin with a tuna confit emulsion, fried capers and arugula. This dish was also really good. The striploin had a melt-in-your-mouth quality to it and paired really well with the creamy tuna confit emulsion, fried capers and arugula.
Jo had the Beef Heart Tartare $15. She really enjoyed the dish and said it was comparable to the best she’s ever had. I thought it was really good as well and loved the brassica mustard pairing.
I chose the Beef Osso Bucco $26 as my main since I was in the mood for a homey rustic braised dish. The beef shank was huge and the meat literally fell off the bone. The polenta was soft, creamy and very cheesy. I did find the red pepper gremolata to be a tad overpowering though. The best part of the entire dish had to be the marrow – it was so rich and decadent! It would be a real shame if anyone left that behind.
Peaches had the Spragg Farms Pork and Rabbit Meatball Pappardelle $24 which she really really enjoyed. I’m not surprised because when I sampled her dish, I also immediately loved it as well. The meatballs were extremely flavorful and moist. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the entire dish was very well executed.
Jo had the Alberta Rib Eye $29 done rare with broccolini and mushrooms. The 12oz rib eye was very tender and cooked to the right level of doneness. She loved it and finished every bite. We thought this dish was of extremely good value considering that it was a 12oz rib eye. At most places, this dish would run you anywhere from $40-50.
They are quite generous with their portions here so by the time I finished my main entree I was already quite stuffed but seeing as it was my birthday I couldn’t leave without having dessert. I adore tiramisu especially when it’s not too sweet and still has that hint of bitter espresso. Cucina’s tirasmisu $9 certainly lived up to my expectations (no surprise here as I love Teatro’s) and definitely hit the spot.
Peaches went with the Passionfruit Mousse $9. It was tart and refreshing, however I found the mousse part to be quite stiff – not light and airy so that was a bit of a disappointment.
Jo ended with the Flourless Chocolate Cake $9. It’s accompanied with a caramelized banana gelato, sponge toffee and marshmallow fluff. This dessert was really good. The chocolate cake was dense and had a deep chocolate flavor. The caramelized banana gelato tasted intensely of bananas and everyone loved the sponge toffee.
Overall, we had a fabulous meal and really enjoyed our night out. Our server was wonderful and did an excellent job at recommending beers that would pair well with our meal. I absolutely loved the food and can’t wait to return!
515 8th Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2P 1E3