cucina enoteca, a few of my favorite things

24 Oct

Workouts

Tuesday I started off with Tracy Anderson for some muscular structure work then I did 30 minutes of HIIT. I did a little bit extra because I knew I was going to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner, which meant indulging in pasta and/or pizza. Yesterday morning I did a 4.1 mile run and finished another 3 miles after work with a friend since I didn’t have time to squeeze it all in before. Today’s workout was TA in the am followed by a 5.25 mile run after work with my brother. I don’t know why but lately the 4:30 a.m. wake-up calls are getting harder and harder. I used to get up as soon as my alarm went off but lately I have been hitting the snooze button more than once! It may be because I have been dreading going to work lately..I need to get it together!

Cucina Enoteca

Last night, I went to Cucina Enoteca again with my friend Kristen. It pretty much has become our official “girl’s night” spot which makes me very, very happy. I don’t know why, but I NEVER get sick of this place. Every time I go, I am always so impressed with how good their food is. I have recommended it to several people, and everyone who has gone cannot say enough about how fantastic everything is at Cucina! Last night, we weren’t super hungry so we both split the Farmer’s Chopped salad and the Honey Roasted Eggplant pizza with goat cheese, pinoles, balsamic onions and pistachio pesto. I was in the main dining area and they turn the lights down pretty low around 6ish so unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture any good pictures. Since I’m already on the subject figured this would be a great opportunity to go over some of my favorite dishes over the course of the 50+ times I have been there..

Salads

Arugula + Heirloom Tomato

This salad has the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The pepperiness of the arugula combined with the sweetness of the aged balsamic & heirloom tomatoes and the saltiness of the shaved parmesan create such an amazing combination of flavors that really make this salad special. Cucina’s heirloom tomatoes are literally the BEST tomatoes I have ever had. I don’t know where they get them from, but I would love to know their secret.

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Farmer’s Chopped

This has recently become my new favorite salad at Cucina. I am a sucker for anything with pepperoncinis and this salad is full of them. It is extremely bright and refreshing; the perfect start to a pizza & pasta-laden night.

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Cantorni

Giant Meatball

I am not sure if my family has ever been to Cucina and not ordered their giant meatball. Unlike many others, it is full of flavor and extremely moist & tender. It is served with a generous helping of marinara (perfect for dipping some crusty bread) and melted cheese & basil on top.

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Pasta

Lasagna Al Forno

Cucina’s lasagna is quite possibly the best I have ever had. (I seriously have no idea how I don’t have a picture of it..) I NEVER order lasagna when I go out because it never seems to even come close to my nana’s homemade lasagna, but this one is out-of-this-world. It has the perfect ratio of meat, sauce and cheese that makes it very indulgent without being too rich. I highly recommend it if you’re a lasagna lover.

Bucatini All’Amatriciana

Bucatini is one of my favorite pasta noodles because of this dish. There is so much flavor in the sauce even though it is made with such simple ingredients. I have found that it is never too spicy and has just the right amount of heat. However, if you do prefer it a little spicier, they bring you fresh oregano & chili flakes to season to your liking. Your leftover pizza crust is also a great vehicle for this sauce!

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Spicy Shrimp Puttanesca Angel Hair

This is a pasta dish you should order if you are wanting something on the lighter side. My mom and I split this with gluten free pasta and it was perfectly satisfying without leaving us stuffed, as some heavier pastas tend to do. The shrimp are fairly large and cooked to perfection! The capers also add a really nice, briney bite.

Pizza

Fig + Gorgonzola

This pizza is only around when figs are in season, so you can’t get it all the time, but when it is on the menu I highly recommend you order it while you can because it is incredible. I am fig obsessed so maybe I am a little partial, but everyone I know who has had it absolutely raves about it!

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Honey Roasted Eggplant + Herb Goat Cheese

Between this pizza and the fig + gorgonzola, it’s always a toss-up for me. They are both so good in their own rights, which makes it that much harder to decide which to order. My friend and I were trying to decide which pizza was our favorite, but came to the conclusion that they’re so different they can’t really be compared. So therefore, they’re both my favorite pizzas at Cucina.

Pepperoni + Fennel Sausage

Cucina’s pepperoni pizza is a really great traditional pizza. If you are not into eggplant or figs on your pizza, this is a classic. They do put some peppadew peppers on top, which I think adds the perfect sweet heat, but if you’re more of a traditionalist you can always ask for it without.

Piatti

Roasted Mary’s Chicken

I never have been one to like eggs on my food, but this dish completely changed my mind. The creamy polenta mixes together with the yolk from the egg to create the perfect “sauce” for the juicy chicken, chard & pesto. All of those combined create the perfect bite!

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Fennel Seed Crusted Yellowtail

Unfortunately, I am allergic to yellowtail so I can no longer eat this, but for those of you who aren’t and are looking for something other than pizza or pasta, this is the way to go. It is the lightest main course I have ever eaten there, but I still loved every bite. The cucumbers, beans, tomatoes and grapefruit create a sort of relish that I absolutely loved!

Dessert

Bread Pudding

Cucina no longer has this on their dessert menu so I don’t remember exactly what was in it, but it was crazy good. They served it while it was still warm on a blanket of caramel sauce with a side of rum raisin gelato that tasted like pie or cookie crumbs underneath. I wish it was still on the menu because I would order it every time!

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What is your favorite restaurant and favorite dish at this restaurant? What type of food do you like to eat out versus making at home?

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