Restaurants & Bars 16

Cucina 24 - Asheville

NANCY | May 3, 200802:00 PM

They opened on Thursday 04/29. We went last nite. Considering this was their 4th day of operation and they had a full house - it was damn near perfect.

The space - dark, modern, bar in front, floor plan wraps around the open kitchen (which has a wood fired oven). Very nice, including the ladies room.

The menu -
Antipasti - olives, favas, roasted peppers, asparagus frittata, arancini, artichoke ripieni, chicken liver crostini and many more. Choose 1 for $4, 3 for $11 or 5 for $18. Looks great for sharing.
Insalate & Zuppe - Spring vegetable minestrone, asparagus salad w/ fried egg, smoked tuna carpaccio, arugula salad. All $6 to $9
Pizza - very interesting combos in the $10 to $13 range. Looks like thin crust.
Primi - Orecchiette/fennel sausage/rapini, Linguini/clams/garlic, Ricotta Gnudi/asparagus/brown butter, Veal cheek ravioli/mushrooms/fava, Carbonara and a few more. All in the $13 to $16 range.
Secondi - Roasted lamb shoulder/polenta, Roasted bass/fennel brodo/peperonata, Trout/artichoke risotto, Hanger steak/endive/beets and a few more. All in the $17 to $21 range. There was on special - an italian fish soup (cioppino?) for $20
Contorni - $5 each - peas, broccoli rabe, wilted greens, polenta, roasted potatoes.
Cheese - assortment of italian cheeses - same pricing as the antipasti

What we had ~
Hanger Steak - cooked to order, medium rare. Served on what looked like braised melted leeks. Absolutely delicious
Trout - it was local "salmon" trout, I think from Sunburst. Cooked perfectly and served on a bed of risotto. Again, absolutely delicious.

Service - excellent. There was one small problem with one of the plates, it was whisked away and returned within a minute, problem corrected. In addition, the kitchen sent out a dish of sauteed greens in the way of apology - not necessary, but very appreciated. Very professional servers, working in teams.

Our time was limited, we were on our way to the Diana Wortham to see Koresh Dance Company (which was amazing!). So we didn't get to try anything other than a main course. It looks like there is a full bar, but I didn't get to check out the wine list (had already split a bottle of bubbly at Sante). There's a lot to sample on the menu and we look forward to trying it all.

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