|Highlights:||Italian piazza setting (weekend: 6PM - midnight)|
|Opening hours:||Noon - 5PM / 6PM - midnight|
|Price range:||Moderate (LE75 to LE150)|
|Payment method:||Cash, VI, MA, DI, AMEX|
All roads lead to Rome!
The traditional Italian kitchen has always astonished the world with its essence of homemade cookery and distinguished taste.
In Cairo, few diners have succeeded in duplicating the original Italian spirit onto their cooking; and Cucina is truly, one of the finest few.
Cucina is a homey little casual space, located in the Egypt's most prestigious hotel JW Marriott, themed with beige and reddish brick walls, an Italian hillside mural, and warm brown wooden and cream tiles floor. It seats about 90 guests, with a pizzeria oven on one side. While it's not exactly an open kitchen, you can see what's going on in the back if your angle is right, and just enjoy the conventional Italian kitchen ambiance with all it has to offer of goodies and delight.
Once the guest is seated, a basket of homemade bread is shortly served to the table, along with Cucina's wonderful garlicky oil with oregano and fresh herbs. There seemed to be a fairly steady stream of guests visiting the restaurant exclusively to enjoy a quality dinning time with plenty of carefully selected items of traditional Italian plates and dishes, accompanied by live music played daily.
Cucina's typically presents rustic food with big taste, prepared authentically and at a fair price, in a comfortable and casual setting. And since it is Italian, then it is friendly and cozy by default. The place is full of rich corn flavor and the menu items are resulting a stellar combination of tastes.
From the numerous pizza selections, we settled on the Pescatora hand-tossed pizza with a fresh, thin crust, which is nicely charred on the bottom and golden-brown around the edges. The mouthwatering pizza with its delicious dough is quite foldable once it has cooled a tad; perfectly baked with tomato sauce, seafood toppings, and mozzarella cheese. In addition, the lavish salad menu deserves a praise, for its wonderful Antipasto di Verdure Marinate, served with red onion, eggplant, carrot, zucchini, red pepper, and pesto dressing, and the Bresaola alla Valtellinese (air dried beef marinated with extra virgin olive oil and balsamico) served with rucola and parmesan cheese ( definitely some of the better salads being served in town.
As for the pasta menu, we have selected the special of Tagliolini al Salmon (homemade spaghetti with smoked salmon and cream sauce). Nevertheless, a quality Italian cuisine is usually judged by the basics, such as the traditional Penne all' Arrabiata; but Cucina does it just right. The al dente penne is bathed in a rich, aromatic tomato sauce perfectly bolster with chili; the subtle rosemary, delicate garlic and a light spiciness from crushed chili pepper round out the taste. Exquisite!
For desserts, we tried both the Tiramisu and the Coppa ai Frutti di Bosco. The Tiramisu is served in a stemmed glass filled with mascarpone cheese, topped with an espresso-soaked cookies and cocoa powder.
In fact, Cucina is an embedment of the classical sensation of Italy; all you have to do is... get dressed up and crave!