Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cuoco Restaurant

Cuoco is one of the restaurants owned by famous Seattle Chef Tom Douglas in South Lake Union, Seattle. It's Italian style and they make  most of their pasta fresh in-house.  My husband has been wanting to take me to the restaurant because he enjoyed his lunch here in the past.  The restaurant has mixed reviews on Urbanspoon, but this review is based on our recent experience.

On Saturday, I went with my husband to his office so he could rebuild his computer.  We were trying to figure out what to have for lunch and Cuoco was within walking distance.  We got there at 3:30 and they were closed.  Apparently, they are not open for lunch on weekends and open for dinner at 4:30pm.  Check their website for open hours.  So we decided to come back at 4:30 rather than go somewhere else.

The restaurant is beautiful and we got their right when they opened so it wasn't busy. Their menu changes sometimes so it's not always consistent.  There is a big selection of starters, which we opted out of getting.  We did order the Kalamata Olive Ciabatta ($3), about 4 slices served with a side of butter, rosemary lardo, and oil.  Very good and soft.

I had a hard time choosing what to order.  I knew I wanted pasta, but most of the selections seemed to be vegetarian style and I'm the kind of person who needs meat protein with my pasta, otherwise I feel very bloated afterwards.  Our server was very friendly and helpful with the menu choices.  We didn't find the typical fettucine alfredo, which I usually go for.  The prices were high end, just for a plate of pasta.  For instance, the Spaghetti (on our menu that night) was with anchovies, garlic, and oil (trying to remember) for $18.  I like seafood pasta, but the only option that night was Linguine Nero, meaning Black Linguine.  Black because it is colored with squid ink.  Sometimes it's served with mussels, but this night it was served with clams, which I like better. I decided to give it a try.


Our food came out in what seemed like 5 minutes.  Again, they had just opened.  DH ordered the Lasagna ($19).  It was a good size portion for dinner.  This is not our typical lasagna which is normally ladened with cheese and sauce.  It had many layers (7) of thin pasta sheets, light on the meat layers (not too beefy or saucy) and topped with a bechamel cheese sauce.  We thoroughly enjoyed the lasagna.  Even though there were so many layers, it still seemed light because the sheets of pasta were so thin.
My dish was the Linguine Nero ($18). This dish is made with garlic, wine, serrano chiles, and mint.  I thought it might have a Thai flavor, but it didn't.  I'm not a "spicy" girl and a bit of a heat wimp, and this dish definitely had heat, but it was not overpowering and I was able to handle it.  I wondered if the noodles would taste squidy, but they actually did not.  I don't think the squid ink altered the flavor of the pasta, just the color.  The dish was seasoned very well and was loaded with clams.  I don't think I've ever gotten that many clams at any restaurant before.  The serving size was perfect.  I was able to finish it and not feel overstuffed.


Squid ink noodles



















We sooo wanted to try a dessert, but just didn't have room in our bellies for it.  Otherwise, we would have like to try the Tiramisu.  Their dessert options looked pretty tasty.  We'll definitely try some next time.

We decided we would go back to this restaurant to try other dishes, the menu is always changing (says our server), but I'm sure their signatures stay the same, like the lasagna.

Cuoco on Urbanspoon

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