Monday, November 24, 2008

Never Disappointing

La Cucina di Mamma

A few months back DLC wrote a review of La Cucina di Mamma, at 6227 Brookside Blvd., a place that I've frequented on several occasions. Though he wasn't overly impressed with the cuisine, I've had a good experience every time I go there. My last foray there, on Friday night, was no different.

Prior to heading to a concert by my third favorite MC of all time, Murs, my lovely wife Natasha and I decided to hit up this neighborhood favorite. Located in a trio of interconnected businesses, including an Italian deli, an espresso shop, and La Cucina di Mamma, Mama's Kitchen, as it were, has a certain quaint charm.

La Cucina is a tiny spot, but that intimacy only adds to the charm. While we'd been here for lunch and the sandwiches which DLC was unimpressed by, we happened to like them very much. This, however, was our first experience with dinner cuisine at this particular establishment. With a limited menu of perhaps 15 choices for dinner, prices ranged from $6-8 for appetizers, $10-16 for entrees, with beers and wine around $4-6 per serving.

One thing I noticed, however was that apparently they don't offer the sandwiches in the evening, because the Italian sausage panini which I am such a big fan of was noticeably absent.

Nevertheless, we decided to start with an appetizer, of which I've missed the Italian name,

A pizza, again, I missed the name,

And the tiramisu for dessert.

The appetizer was good, a rustic dish of toasted Italian bread topped with olive oil, sardines, fresh mozzarella and caramelized onions. Garnished with fresh parsley, it was a simple, elegant starter. With complementary pieces, this is a dish I'm sure I'll mimic in the comfort of my own kitchen. My only issue with it, in fact, was that the Italian bread was ever-so-slightly burnt on a few pieces. This notwithstanding, it was an excellent choice.

The pizza which followed after, was also a good choice. In all likelihood wood-fired, this pizza was great. A thin, flaky crust topped with a slightly sweet sauce, prosciutto, kalamata olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and cheese, was quite delicious. The crust was really, really good, and the toppings were well thought out and unique, while fitting in with the theme of the restaurant. My only issue with the pizza, was that it could have used a little more cheese, though that is a small issue when compared the overall dish.

Of course, enjoying this pie, brought back memories of the debacle that is La Cucina's Brookside neighbor, Blue Grotto. The nearest comparison I can make between the two is that La Cucina di Mamma is like Warren Moon, a great football player who very quietly put together a Hall of Fame career, while Blue Grotto is Ryan Leaf, a highly-touted draft pick who couldn't cut it in the pros and quickly disappeared from the league. Without question La Cucina wins the pizza battle of Brookside...

For dessert, Natasha insisted we have the tiramisu. Very moist with a hint of coffee liqueur and a strong flavor of cocoa, this was a good dessert, though not great, but then again, I don't have much of a sweet tooth.

As for the service, the waitresses were great, very polite and friendly, though the kitchen could have been a bit quicker (though I would prefer slow food cooked properly than rapid service that is slop).

Overall, I really like La Cucina di Mamma. It's in Brookside, which is my favorite KC neighborhood, and the food is never disappointing. You should try it next time you're in the area...

    Food: 4.4
    Atmosphere: 4.5
    Service: 4
    Menu: 4
    Price: 4
    Total: 20.9
    Average: 4.18

(Sorry everyone for the low-quality camera-phone photos :-)

La Cucina di Mamma on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Jacques said...

Great Italian food, fine italian birra [especially La Rossa, dark red], marvelous grilled red peppers with capers and olives to go with the spinach dish. Jake [Jiacomo] was smart to buy the defunct bread bakery and turn it into such a fine ristaurante using authenic Italian food, wine/beer and his mother's recipes for our enjoyment. Five stars for this poster!