As far as Asheville restaurants go, Cucina 24 is one of my absolute favorites. From the craft cocktails to the made-from-scratch modern Italian dishes, Cucina 24 is ideal for everything from a date-night to a business dinner. Fortunately for me, I went on a date night in downtown Asheville and had a blast. What did we order that keeps me dreaming of Cucina 24?
Clearly a beverage was needed upon entering such a charmingly elegant dining establishment. My first beverage of choice: Lavanda: gin, lavender simple syrup, lemon juice, egg white. Let me just mention here that I’m not the biggest fan of gin, but this was phenomenal. I do love Lavender & was impressed with the use of egg white. What does egg white do, other than intimidate & gross out the casual observer, you may ask… Why egg white actually lends a silky frothiness to this craft cocktail. I truly enjoyed it… no gagging involved!
To start our meal, we tried a delicious tomato dish:
Heirloom tomato, black olive, basil seed, black pepper yogurt… If you’ve ever met me you know I am quite passionate about tomatoes and the way they are prepared… and not just because they are considered pommes d’amour, (love apples) by the French… or because they are so closely related to scandal … (considered poisonous until the 1800’s)… I just love tomatoes.
As for the main dish: lady’s first! I tried the
Stripedbass, Heirloom tomato, Lady peas, Fennel, Basil.
Can I just say this felt kind of inappropriate to eat in public? Yes, it was that good. I felt like I needed privacy to finish my meal… Flavor orgasm is a tame way to describe the way this melted in my mouth.
And my gentleman? He had a meaty meal… bring on the beef!
Beef Spinalis, Salisfy, Beech mushrooms, Horseradish, Chianti butter…
To answer your question: What is Chainti butter? Well chianti is a dry, red table wine made of many varietals of grapes… originating in Italy. So.. let me just say… combining two of life’s biggest indulgences: wine & butter… shouldn’t that be illegal? Well, thank goodness its not, because it was nothing short of divine!
And as an avid bourbon lover, I simply had to try another craft cocktail. Bourbon Zenzero: Bourbon, St. Germain Elderberry Cordial, House Sour, Lemon Bitters, Ginger Ale.
Clearly, much love was poured into this perfect cocktail. I applaud the mixologist.
The Pièce de résistance? Dessert.
The first bite was enough to make a lady blush.
I must confess, I felt a bit like I was cheating my beloved French Broad Chocolate Lounge.
However, by the second bite I hadn’t the time or mental capacity to feel guilty.
By the last bite I was breathless…