Monday, April 2, 2012

Cucina Bella

A couple of weeks ago, the City Paper reviewed Cucina Bella. Despite Cucina Bella being in Bridgeville, and me living in the south/west for many years, I hadn't heard of this place. It sounded yummy, so I added it to the 'try' list.
This past Saturday we decided to try it. It didn't take long to get there. It's a bright red brick building and there are some outdoor tables. It would be great to sit outside on a sunny warm day, sip some BYOB, and enjoy their food.
We didn't have reservations and at 6 pm on a Saturday, we were seated right away. The inside is dark red carpet, yellow walls, green curtains. The tables aren't all uniform - there's different table tops and chairs. We even noticed what looked like church pews for 'booth' like seating.
We originally grabbed a bottle of claret to take, but before going to dinner, we stopped at the liquor store to see if we could purchase a bottle of the viognier listed in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article from last Thursday about wines for Easter & Passover. Sadly, the viognier (Gonnet Cotes du Rhone Blanc, 2010, Southern Rhone, Francewe wanted was sold out, but they had many bottles of the syrah (Domaine Durand Cornas Empreinte, 2008), so we bought a bottle and decided to try it for dinner instead.
This wine is very good. We both were very pleased with our decision to try it - so much so that on our way home, we stopped and bought another bottle to have on hand.

Cucina Bella's menu is appetizers, salads, pizzas, calzone, panini. Our server was happy to share her favorite menu items with us and she mentioned that since the City Paper review, many people have stopped in to try their meatballs. SP doesn't eat beef, and I got enough beef with the burgers a couple weeks ago, so we didn't try the meatballs. Instead, we started with Pepe Fresco, fresh banana peppers baked in a secret sauce.
Obviously, this was SP's choice. There was a sixth piece of bread, but he started eating before I remembered to take a photo. He loved the peppers. I tried a piece of bread, and the part that touched the peppers/sauce was hot enough for me!
We decided to try 2 pizzas, even though we figured one would be enough to share. SP chose the Brutta Ma Buona - mozzarella, ricotta, sausage, green olives, basil.
It looked so good! The creamy ricotta. All those green olives. I had never before tried green olives on a pizza, only black/kalamata olives.
It was delicious, although I found the sausage a bit spicy for me.

I chose the Capricciosa - mozzarella, artichokes, baby portobellos, prosciutto, basil:
There was a lot of prosciutto on the pizza. There also was a lot of huge artichokes, check out the piece of artichoke in this photo:
This pizza was delicious. I loved the soft, tangy artichokes. The crust was chewy, maybe a bit sweet, nicely crisp around the edges, and the middle was not super soggy like some thin crust pizzas can get. I did get quite messy eating my pizza. My hands were quite olive oily. It must have been a very generous swirl of olive oil on the pizza! But it was so good!
I don't know if it was because it was our first trip to Cucina Bella and the new experience clouded our judgment, or maybe it was the wine since we couldn't stop drinking it, but we decided that we like their pizza better than pizza at Il Pizzaiolo for the price and we like it just as much, maybe a bit more, than pizza at Piccolo Forno, plus Cucina Bella is closer to us and has better parking for us than either of those two places.

Dessert. We were stuffed, but as usual, could not resist. As soon as I heard 'homemade tiramisu' I knew I'd be ordering it:
A delicious tiramisu. Light, not too heavy and filling. SP chose a frozen limoncello dessert, I think it was lemon gelato and limoncello mixed in a champagne flute:
It was really good. As much as I love the coffee-chocolate-lady finger-mascarpone flavor of tiramisu, I think I might like the lemon goodness of this dessert even more. SP had to pry it out of my hands and remind me that I had my own dessert to enjoy.
We both really liked Cucina Bella and we would go back. The pizza was just as tasty the next day when we ate it cold for lunch. Also, our server was very friendly and happy and our food seemed to arrive at a good pace. Plus, it's two days later and I am still thinking about those delicious artichokes!

Cucina Bella on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. oh my goodness i NEED to try that priscutto pizza! great review!