I love Italian food. It has always been one of my favourite restaurants to visit. I must admit though I prefer a restaurant that isn’t part of a chain, so when I was asked to review Cucina Rustica in Birmingham city centre I was very keen!
About Cucina Rustica
Cucina Rustica takes great pride in offering great quality Italian food and it’s located in the Jewellery Quarter in the centre of Birmingham. There are lovely views from the patio, that overlook St Paul’s Square. The restaurant is open daily from 12pm to 11pm and bookings are offered.
The menu offers a wide range of traditional Italian cusine. There are a range of starters, including vegetarian options. These include fish, soup, spicy sausage and cheeses. Prices start at £6.50.
Mains include pizza and pastas, salad, risotto and impressive meat dishes including beef, lamb, chicken, fish and veal. There is amazing choice. Prices start at around £11.
If you can manage anything else, there are also some delicious puddings, including ice-cream and tiramisu.
There is currently a Christmas Menu to feast your eyes over and set party menus for bigger group bookings.
Hubby and I had a rare date night as my birthday is approaching. We headed into town, excited about our night of Italian food. I had been offered to sample a food and wine pairing menu. Just to note the food choices were pre-set which was good, as it pushed us to taste a wide range of Italian foods with a matching wine. Not all foods were to my particular taste but I will be reviewing this on the basis of quality and the standard of our experience and not on my preference. There is a vast menu with so much choice.
On entering the restaurant there was a busy, buzzing atmosphere which quicky moved to a fully booked restaurant. We were taken to a private booth. All tables had a rose which I liked. There was dim, romantic lighting and I felt relaxed.
We were first brought some bread and olives, accompanied by a glass of Prosecco. The olives had a really zesty taste and was delicious. I loved mopping up some olive oil and balsamic vinegar with my bread.
The main starter was a trio of foods to trial. Fegatini di pollo which was chicken livers, shallots, marsala wine, cream, crispy pancetta. Have to be honest, couldn’t sample this as I don’t eat this type of meat. Hubby tasted it and really enjoyed the sauce.
The second starter was Melanzane alla parmigiana which was aubergine, pecorino, tomato, basil & mozzarella. I enjoyed this, it was tasty and I always like it when there is a good vegetarian option. It was a good sized portion and not too much. It looked like a mini lasagne.
The third starter was funghi con formaggio capra, another veggie option; grilled Portobello mushroom, garlic butter, goats cheese and tomato sauce. Again my hubby loved this one and ate it all. He said the goat’s cheese was amazing.
We were brought a white wine to accompany these starters – Fiano Salento, an Italian white. This was really light, fruit and refreshing and was great with the starters.
I would always have pizza and pasta when I go to an Italian so it was great to be offered something different. We sampled Cosciotto d’agnello which was lamb shank, rosemary, tomato & red wine sauce and mash potato. I have to be honest and say I never tend to eat lamb but I was keen to try it and I was not disappointed. It was a good sized portion and you could tell it had been cooked and immediately brought out to us; hot and ready to eat. The lamb was perfectly cooked; not rare which I don’t like. The meat was falling off the bone and the mash and sauce went perfectly. I was defeated and couldn’t eat it all but I was very impressed.
We were brought a red wine to accompany the main – Nero D’avola Montepietrosco Sicily. Hubby, who is the red wine drinker thought it was delicious and went brilliantly with the lamb. He had my glass too!
I was glad I saved a little room after the lamb for dessert. We sampled some tiramisu which was served with some chocolate wafers, vanilla ice-cream and caramel sauce and another ice-cream which was amoretto flavoured. These were served with a poached pear and some strawberries.
The desserts were served with a dessert wine – Visanto del Chianti Classico. I was feeling the effects of all the alcohol so didn’t drink this but hubby said it was very sweet and went well with pudding!
I was very impressed with Cucina Rustica. Although not all foods offered were to my taste, I could not fault anything. They food was hot and cooked to perfection. The wines chosen suited the foods well and the staff were very friendly and attentive.
There was a good atmosphere. It filled me with a lot of confidence at how busy the restaurant was. It was perfect for a date night.
I would definitely go back and sample more of the menu!
Disclosure – I was offered the sample menu free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.