Cucina Forte - 10/25/07 7pm
768 South 8th Street
We had a great time at Cucina Forte.
It was our smallest group yet though it certainly didn't feel like it. The restaurant was a cozy atmosphere and Pina and the staff offered us warm welcomes and one long table for our food-ie night. As our group arrived, we enjoyed the homemade bread and antipasto plates and my sister made some friends with some regular patrons sitting nearby that I too had the pleasure to meet. Talking to them was like talking to family members at a reunion. They were glad to see us there, discovering what they'd known to be gem of an eating destination, a local secret, if you will, that they were glad to share.
The menu, as promised was very good. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the color of the dishes, the freshness of the ingredients and the presentation on each plate. The service was flawless, very attentive without being intrusive and this restaurant was not empty on this particular Thursday.
Of course, as some of us were sitting near the far end of the table, away from the kitchen, we secretly mumbled our resentment and justified bitter envy of the dessert portions for the first half of the table. As the dessert plates were delivered to each person starting near the kitchen and finally towards our end - closer to the door, we noticed how the serving sizes of the Ricotta Cheese cake progressively (or regressively?) shrank. Perhaps this was a result of the inherent generosity of the servers realizing that there was a risk of running out. If such thoughts even occurred to us at the time they simply didn't deter our jealous whispers . As it turns out, the comparatively puny serving of fluffly creamy ricotta cheese cake and an admittedly decent serving of the super rich fudgey homemade double chocolate mousse cake for our end of the table was... ahem... um... more than enough. Sure, I myself looked halfway down the table at Elaine's mountain of cheesecake on her plate and back at my small dab and thought ..... well, never mind what I though. Truth is, I never even finished mine. Dessert and excellent coffee at the end of such a good meal had me more than content before I could finish.
Oh, and it's true, the gnocchi in their homemade marinara sauce is as light as a feather and super for a second course. I look forward to returning to try the spinach gnoochi next time.
Home made bread, antipasto plates on table as we arrive
**All dinners prepared with extra virgin olive oil and garlic where needed
This is a BYOB and there's no corking fee.
Sodas and Coffee will be included.
*(as best I could manage without our favorite photographer, Cho)