Last night I had the pleasure of my first visit to. Cucina Rustica, located on Ludgate Hill and just a 5 minute walk from Snow Hill station (if you exit from the St. Chads end)
What a truly wonderful evening I had. I had been invited to attend a bloggers event to discover the new spring menu and that in itself was wonderful, but there was more! There was also a wine matching with each course and we had expert vintners from Colombier Vin Fins to talk us through each wine which perfectly matched each course. Delicious food and fine wines alongside some great company made for a very memorable evening indeed and I certainly can not wait to return.
Cucina Rustica is an Italian restaurant that deals with so much more than pizza and pasta, although I’m sure these are available, but the choice of food I tried last night was so special it really would be a shame to have something you can get from just about anywhere when at Cucina Rustica you can experience King prawns with a tomato and cream sauce, or king scallops with garlic butter and shrimp. I ordered a gin & tonic when I arrived and Cucina Rustica does carry a good selection of gins. I tried a Bobbys gin, it was incredibly fragrant with hints of black pepper and cardamom and served with Fentimans tonic was the perfect aperitif and I would have enjoyed a second glass had I not been presented with a chilled glass of cava to welcome me.
Our starter was a trio of Gratinated king scallop with Parmesan, parsley garlic butter & shrimps, grilled portobello mushroom with garlic butter, goats cheese & tomato sauce and king prawn, tomato garlic, chilli & cream. My scallop was cooked to perfection, and the goats cheese on my portobello mushroom was not overpoweringly ‘goaty’ but instead rich yet light, the chilli in the king prawn was very subtle and did not overpower the delicate flavours on my plate. To accompany this light seafood based starter we had a glass of Frascarti, which was fresh, light and perfect with seafood.
Next we had a sharing platter of antipasto misto which included Parma ham, Salame, mortadella, grissini and olives. I tried to resist as I knew we had more courses yet to come, but resistance was hard and I did try a little of the mortadella as it is a favourite cooked meat of mine. Yes mortadella can be found in supermarkets here but it’s never as good as what I have from overseas of really good restaurants, so I had to try. It did not disappoint. Antipasto.
Our wine with the antipasto was a red Pinot noir, Domaine V La Grange and of course it was the perfect accompaniment yet again, obviously richer and slightly heavier in flavour and it worked perfectly with the meats and olives.
The main courses included fillet of seabass in a saffron sauce with baby prawns, risotto con fungi made with mixed mushrooms and asparagus ( I’m also pretty sure there was a hint of truffle or truffle oil in the risotto) sliced beef fillet with capers, shallots and anchovies which had a deliciousness that my vocabulary can not even begin to do justice to, rack of lamb, mouthmeltingly tender lamb that had a hint of pink and was juicy and succulent and finally fried breaded chicken breast, which was served on a tomato sauce. Although we got to try a small portion of everything it really was just too much food for me and I was really struggling as I wanted to taste everything. Sadly by the time my final plate arrive all I could manage of the chicken and the seabass was the tiniest of nibbles, but there was absolutely nothing that I did not enjoy. Yet more wines to accompany our main course and once again the perfect partner to each main.
Beef fillet and rack of lamb.
Seabass with saffron sauce, mushroom risotto, fried breaded chicken breast.
With the lamb and beef we enjoyed a divine Barbara Ruleja, Which was described as “top rank” and “proffers blackberry and truffle over resin balsam, opening to a mouth of sheer elegance.” Which is so much more elegant than I could have worded it.
Our chicken and fish was served with Fiano Salento, another beautiful white with citrus and white peach. The seabass was lovely, as a well cooked seabass always is and had a delicate saffron sauce, the breaded chicken was just that, for me it was something and nothing but it’s a safe bet to have on the menu for the less adventurous diner, the coating was beautifully crisp with absolutely no hint of oiliness and the creamy tomato sauce was packed full of tomato flavour. But for me, the star of this plate was the risotto as it was packed full of mushroom flavours and still moist and creamy with a hint of truffle.
Sadly I had to leave before dessert was served, but with a hot chocolate fondant on menu, a light cheesecake with forest fruits or the more traditional tiramisu, I’m sure I would have enjoyed any one of those, but my poor stomach needed a rest from all the deliciousness and Mr. Red had been waiting patiently outside to drive me home for about twenty minutes.
All the food I tried last night was superb, as I said earlier, there was not one dish that disappointed and of course the wine matching was perfect with each dish. Cucina Rustica is a beautiful building both inside and out. With roses and candles on the table and real linen napkins it has an up market feel without coming across as snobby or pretentious. In my opinion it’s ideal for a romantic dinner for two or a family gathering with a crowd. Service was polite and swift and it’s somewhere I will be returning to. Just far enough off the beaten track, yet not at all far from town Cucina Rustica ticks all the boxes for a grand night out. Of course alongside their fabulous menu, Cucina Rustica has a great selection of wines provided by Colombier Vins Fins who only provide exclusively to restaurants and who source all their wines themselves. Beautiful interior.
I was invited to dine at Cucina Rustica last night at no cost to myself in return for my honest options via my blog. I would like to thank Big Cat PR for inviting me, Cucina Rustica for providing a wonderful selection of superb dishes in a warm, friendly and romantic restaurant and Colombier Fins Vins for their fabulous selection of wines and for imparting their knowledge and experience to everyone that was enjoying the evening. I really did have a top night, if you are looking for a great Italian dining experience I highly recommend Cucina Rustica or her sister restaurant Pasta di Piazza on Brook street, I have a review for them right at the beginning of my blog, should you wish to read it. I guarantee you will not leave disappointed from either of these wonderful restaurants.