Sunday, 17 June 2018

Cucina 73 King Street Whalley 16th June 2018

Cucina 73 is a family business in the village of Whalley, in the Ribble Valley, well served by public transport, with the bus station opposite and train station only a five minute walk.  Raffaella and her brother Stefano run front of house and brother Fabbio runs the kitchen, cooking authentic Italian food, that you do not normally see in most Italian restaurants in the UK.

Cucina 73 have no vegan options on the menu per se, but are happy to cater for me, if I give notice, which I am happy to do.   Fabbio makes quite a few different types of egg free pasta, all handmade on the premises and it is the best pasta ever, how many other places make their own pasta, I cannot think of one.

I kicked off with an Aperol and soda, my favourite drink at the moment, so fruity and refreshing and I loved the paper straw too.

We had complimentary foccaccia bread with balsamic and olive oil (forgot to take a photo) and some pickled vegetables to nibble on.   I love pickled vegetables and could eat far too many, the same with the bread, so tasty.

My starter was a vegan version of the summer salad, a fabulous mix of bitter chicory, asparagus and crushed hazelnuts with a balsamic dressing.   Fabbio gets loads of flavour into the simplest of dishes, all perfectly seasoned and although not a huge fan of balsamic, too many places are heavy handed with it, the dressing complimented the chicory and I loved it.

Main course was hand rolled strascinati, a shape I had not heard of, with cannellini beans, asparagus, peas, lemon, garlic and olive oil.   I looked up strascinati on Wikipedia and it is interesting that it is always made egg free and its shape helps to capture any sauce it is served with.

If you asked me to cook my ideal pasta, this dish would be in my top five, my ideal ingredients all in one dish, it did not disappoint, it was perfect and I left not a scrap.

I was too full for dessert, although there were a couple of sorbets available suitable, so I sat and finished my wine.   The wine a gorgeous fruity smooth Primitivo was Raffaella's favourite and happened to be vegan friendly and she made sure they had a bottle for me on the night.  How's that for customer service.

I finished the meal, with a decaf espresso as I avoid caffeine, it makes me lightheaded and keeps me awake at night, this could pass for the real thing it was that good.

Overall I cannot fault Cucina 73, they look after their customers, I love their passion for serving traditional Italian food and I find it interesting that many pasta shapes are traditionally made without eggs, which suits me fine.   Below are a few other dishes I have eaten at Cucina 73 in the past.

 Marinara Pizza

 Cavatelli with Mushrooms & Broccoli

 Ribollita Soup

Rustica Pizza

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