Happiness is cheese and pasta and you can find happiness at Cucinetta. The cosy Italian Osteria opened in 2017. Since then, the South Yarra osteria has transitioned to current owner, Giocomo of Caffe Cuccina. The ‘no fridge’, same day strategy is Cucinetta’s pizzazz. When there’s literally no room for frozen, you know it’s as fresh as Nonna’s. Head chef Attilio Nuscis, rotates his menu weekly, just like Nonna would. The only difference is the giant wine glasses – seriously, they’re hilariously large.
This article was written for the AGFG.
Simple small-plate dining
We’ve all had BIG PLATE Italian food. Giant plates of bolognaise, ‘pineapple’ on pizza – oh the horror. “We want to focus on small plates, that emphasise all our Italian backgrounds”, explains Giacomo. Not only is Cucinetta exceedingly intimate (there’s only 21 seats), but the food is wonderfully simple.
Food inspired by the Italian regions
We visit Southern Italy, for Burrata flown from the foothills of Naples. The uncanny, milky creaminess, is settled by peperonata, a chunky ‘stew’ of sweet bell peppers melted in olive oil, onions and tomatoes. Pan roasted Octopus takes us to the Italian coast. Tender and elastic, bouncing against the god of the vegetables -potato. Luscious lamb rump is sous vide, the final touches, drenched in red cabbage and wine jus. Pasta is made in-house and boy it makes a world of difference. The gnocchi is soft and delicate, a texture difficult to find.
At a mere 29 square metres, Cucinetta proves small size packs a punch. The food is small plate dining, inspired by the regions of Italy. I adored the delicious simplicity and homely charm. Cucinetta is underrated in the noisy world of Melbourne dining. The team have kept it simple and true to the Italian soul.Don’t forget the large wine glasses and wines picked out by the sommelier. Delizioso!
Rating : 4.0 cookies out of 5
Must order: The menu changes weekly!