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Jun 5, 2007 01:24 PM


This post is looooong overdue. I consider myself a pretty easy-going diner. I appreciate that when a restaurant is newly opened some things may not run smoothly - but there's a limit to what anyone should have to tolerate. I went to Cucina with large group of friends (8) for a birthday since Cucina was new to my neighborhood (Little Italy) and we like to check out the new spots. We were seated and given menus, specials are written on a blackboard, as is the wine list. You would think that menus written on blackboards would allow for constant updates, but no. We made the trek to the front of the resto to choose our wine, only to be told they were out of our chosen kind (how about erasing it?), fine - we chose another. Then I selected beef carpaccio and a steak special, only to be told that they were out of BOTH. At 10pm on a Sat? Seems weird. The server suggested a salad might be a nice alternative (to carpaccio - really?!) The highlight of the evening came when the birthday found a hair in the pasta. Again, I don't think the hair is a big deal, what's important is how the situation is handled. The server took the plate away, came back and said that it would not appear on the bill but that "no one in the kitchen has blond hair" REALLY?!!! The food we eventually did eat was ok but on a street with a million options, they should really beef up the service.

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  1. Agree.
    Cucina has been in the neighbourhood for a while. For me, the "good vibe" was never from the food nor the service, but the cool clientele.Food has always been average since it opened: lukewarm, bland, and overpriced for its quality and quantity. The service is its downfall; there is a fine line between aloof/cool and indifferent/rude. I also live in the neighbourhood and had given Cucina a few chances, but I cant bring myself to return anymore.
    shame. It really has the right formula; just poorly executed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: happycamper

      As someone who also lives in the neighbourhood I really wanted to like Cucina - especially since Bruyea Brothers was one of our faves. The first time I went I loved my pizza. The curst was crispy with good chewiness. The toppings were just right as well. My husband's pasta was amazing. Flavourful sauce with a nice not too wet consistancy that clung to the perfectly cooked noodles. On subsequent visits, I've had pizza that was burnt around the edges, and the server offered to cut the burnt parts off. I've also made serveral attempts to get the same pasta my husband had that first time, but each attempt is a little more disappointing than the last... I think we, too, are done with this place.

    2. yes I would also have to agree.
      The food is entirely mediocre (or worse) and overpriced. Right from the very beginning you know that the kitchen is making no effort to serve anything close to authentic italian. Its all cutting corners here. The olive oil that is served with the wonder bread version of italian bread is awful and cheap. Surely we've moved past this stage in toronto but apparently this is still ok. The pizza was entirely disappointing, with a soggy crust and salty mushrooms. Just plain bad. I seem to remember this place getting a pretty good review but plainly this was some time ago. As for cool this is also a thing of the past. The service is a little like 'hooters'. Nice people but the big bono glasses and the matching red shirts do nothing for the atmosphere.