Sunday, February 1, 2009
Being such a fan of Dali's, I was really looking forward to trying out its sister restaurant, Cuchi Cuchi. The cute little spot has an excellent selection of delicious-sounding cocktails (I couldn't drink, but my friends all gushed over the Blood Orange Sidecars and the Happiness Cocktails - had I not been on these proton-pump inhibitors, I would have gone NUTS over this extensive drink menu.) The ambience was more spacious and light than at Dali's. I especially loved the beautiful stained glass windows behind the bar (from the 1890's and formally housed in a Chicago.)
The only drawback to this place is that you are not allowed to sit in the restaurant area unless everyone orders an entree - as a result, later in the evening the bar area gets backed and the tables empty out. We patiently waited until a bar table opened up and then planted ourselves for the rest of the evening.
We began with the Caspian Heaven (Russia), with a roasted fingerling potato, crispy, fried oysters, creme fraiche, salmon roe & champagne sauce. This was good. I ate half the plate myself. We also had the classic sizzling garlic shrimp dish, which was very similar to the Dali's version. The shrimp wontons (China) had a mixed following. I loved them - light shrimp filled wonton wrappers, boiled not fried, with a sliver of pickled ginger on top. My friends were not huge fans - the ginger was a little overpowering. The Brie en Croûte, was basically a baked brie in puff pastry with walnuts and bacon. I couldn't really taste the walnuts or the bacon, but the brie was great on the hot rolls that came with our meal. The Duck a l'Orange Crepes (France) were possibly my favorite dish (although I should tell you about dessert) w/citrus & fennel vinaigrette. The duck was moist, flavorful and extremely "meaty" wrapped in a deliciously light crepe with a hint of orange in that citrus sauce. Yum! I avoided the Cuban Cigar, which had beef short ribs wrapped in dough w/black bean salsa. The dish looked unusually phallic and heavy so I stuck with the other dishes instead. My friends were not especially impressed by the flavor of this dish.
Disappointingly, the side dishes, a "middle eastern" Rice Pilaf, and Gratin Dauphinois (France), had very unappealing flavors or lack of flavors. I would not bother with these at all. Stick with the warm bread rolls instead.
For dessert we tried the tiramisu - light and authentic-tasting, but too heavy on the rum. The chocolate cake with liquor-infused cherries was TO DIE FOR. This was possibly the most delicious chocolate cake I have had for as long as I can remember. The cake was warm, moist and chocolately - not too sweet and perfectly complimented by the booze-y cherries. Fabulous. I would go back just for the cake (and the crepes!)
Image lifted from www.cuchicuchi.cc
795 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02139