The week before our beach trip was a week without kids. They were off with the grandparents. That gave Lynn and I the chance to check out some spots around town that were new to us. Our first night was a visit to the Frog Bar (for a nice Sidecar, sugar rim glass included) and then Sante! Nice experience at both. Thursday night we showed up at Cucina 24 without a reservation. Fortunately, there were high tables available in the bar area. A quick check of the bottles behind the bar and I spotted something that looked promising: Fee Brothers bitters! A bar with these is a bar that could shake up cocktails. Lynn ordered a glass of white wine while I opted for a Gimlet. What a treat – ice cold, well proportioned and served in a chilled cocktail glass. The bartender (and General Manager) Brian Candee came by to take our second round order. The cocktail menu has several drinks unique to Cucina. I was tempted, but when I mentioned a Negroni, I think Brian’s eyes lit up. He described his construction of the drink and offered that he used an artisanal Vermouth. I was sold. Again, well proportioned and balanced. Served on the rocks (at my request). Best one I’ve ever had.
While I choose to drink my dinner that night, Lynn went for an order of Bucatini Carbonara. Quite good (I sampled liberally). Further conversation with Brian turned up that he makes his sour mix fresh daily – “Six lemons and six limes.” Was it possible? Had I died and found a little piece of cocktail heaven? He really cares about what goes in the glass. The obvious attention to the small details at the bar are hopefully an indication of attention paid to other aspects of the restaurant. This one’s a keeper. We’ll be back. Maybe with a reservation, or maybe we’ll just hang at the bar.
Three out of three olives
(Need a graphic for that one)