For pure research purposes, galleygirl and I checked out Cuchi Cuchi on Main Street in Cambridge Wednesday night. (Truth be told, we were looking for some good a/c and a decent wine list). The place is visually stunning... beautiful stained glass windows set into the walls, "vintage" lamps on the bar, excellent mustardy walls, fresh flowers in the loo, you get the picture. The cocktail I tried was superb -- a strawberry and basil martini grew more basily as the ice melted, and the wine list is well-picked too. We shared a nice sauvignon blanc from South Africa with just enough citrusy tartness. The downside was, frankly, the food. We started out strong -- dense white bread (Dali style, for those familiar with cuchi's sister restau) was accompanied by a delicious chicken liver pate, much to galleygirl's surprise after she chomped into it. And though it had been in the fridge a tad too long (remember, this is research) I gladly finished the portion. We ordered sole ceviche which was made with (gasp) artificial lemon juice and served in a martini glass. We surmised the RealLemon (tm) was used because it doesn't cook the fish as quickly, but it left a nasty tinny taste on the tongue. The tuna carpacio and salmon tartare with couscous and watermelon was just okay. Thin slices of tuna sort of melted into eachother on the plate and one of those annoying architectural presentations made it too challenging to eat for the lackluster payback. Finally we tried the mussels, "thesalonika style" which I did like... so much so that I spooned up the flavorful broth with my spoon. After the bottle of wine, I don't really remember what they were flavored with, but they had a hint of ouzo, I'm quite sure.
All told, this place is great for a drink. It would be the perfect place to steal away for a quiet rendez-vous before (as another poster put it), heading across the street to Salts for dinner.