The mid-week blues are no joke, dear readers. Especially during this busy time of our 365-day calendars, with holiday events and end of year deadlines rounding the corner, we were in need of some major moral support and good cheer. An agreed upon location and meeting time had already been established, but the clock couldn’t strike five fast enough.
Arriving at La Cucina was another, somewhat familiar, humorous adventure on its own.
Trisha: (via text) Hey, doll. Just confirming you’ll be able to make it out here to La Cucina. I’m already here.
Gaby: (via text) Yes, I’m here. Are you inside?
Trisha: (via text) Yes. You?
Gaby: Waaaaait! Which restaurant was it again? I leaned my head forward and, in a matter of seconds, ran out of another Italian location which shall remain anonymous. “I'll come back soon. I promise,” I shouted as I ran through the doors.
Trisha: It'd be a while before my comrade showed up, so I went ahead and ordered an appetizer and a glass of wine. With the day I had had, she'd completely understand.
While sipping on some welcomed red and waiting on the Antipasto Freddo, perfectly shaped rounds of butter with a basket of warm, homemade bread, were brought to the table. After inquiring with the attentive server about the contents of the buttery rounds, Chef Damian appeared and explained that they were prepared with caramelized onions and cherry peppers.
Gaby: Upon my arrival I was ecstatic to see that a beautiful dish of Italian meats and cheeses, as well as a basket full of bread (bring on the carbs!), were already placed on the table waiting for me. I didn't excuse myself or say anything, and instead just weaved my hand through the basket of warm ciabatta, grabbed some brie and salami, made a little sandwich and took a bite so that I could defeat the raging hunger inside me.
Trisha: I also took the liberty of pre-ordering a glass of red for my equally exhausted, kindred spirit. Needless to say, when it arrived at the table, my wine-loving friend was not displeased.
INSIDER’S TIP: As a patron, if you choose to dine alone or aren’t in the mood for a formal, sit down dinner, you can sit at the bar and dine there as well. Currently, only a select number of wines and beers are served as adult beverage options at La Cucina.
Now onto the main entree. So many tempting options on the menu, but we decided to go with one traditional Lasagna (plenty of meat sauce and Ricotta) and one dish that had been highly recommended but was not on the menu, an Eggplant Rollatini a La Cucina style (fresh chunks of red peppers and mozzarella with added Prosciutto, wrapped in thin layers of grilled eggplant), complemented with a side salad of greens dressed with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
After all that tasty and filling food, we couldn’t even think about dessert. Okay, it WAS a fleeting thought, but it didn’t happen. There’s always next time.
La Cucina Italian Gourmet just recently opened its doors on August 22, 2017 and is located at 400 W Nolana Ave Suite N1 McAllen, Texas. Although the restaurant is closed on Mondays, you can stop by during their regular hours of operation on Tuesday-Thursday,11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; or Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Call in for reservations at (956) 686-7442, and make sure to follow them on FB @lacucinamcallentx, Instagram #lacucinamcallen and Twitter #LaCucinaMcAllen, to stay up to date with their specials and events.
Gaby Jones and Trisha Watts work hand-in-hand with the service industry. Jones is in charge of craft and imported beer for L&F Distributors and Watts is the communications director for Visit McAllen. Each week they will have a new adventure and provide an opinion on various locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley.