Eat Cucina

If you read my earlier post on Big Taste YYC recommendations, you would have seen that I had quite a few reservations booked.

Nothing beats having a good quality meal cooked for you. That being said, I admit that 4 dinners this week might have been a little excessive.

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However! When they’re 3 course meals for $35 who can say no?

Cole and I kicked off the Big Taste at Cucina Market Bistro – conveniently located in 8 Ave, just down the street from his work (and the perfect spot for a bite if you’re finishing up a little evening shopping at the Core).

We were presented with the menu, with 2 choices for each course. We each ordered different things so we could try all 6 meals, because hey, this isn’t our first Big Taste.

And then, Cole took advantage of the wicked Wine Pairing deal – 3 glasses of Mission hill for $15.

In no time our appetizers came out.

Warm and creamy porcini mushroom bisque, infused with truffle whipped cream.

Cucina Market Bistro

Cucina Market Bistro

And tender fresh duck meat balls, doused in a spicy tomato sauce and speckled with grana padano cheese. This was only my second time eating duck (and my first time ordering it) but if it’s always as good as these meatballs were, then, I get the hype.

Cucina Market Bistro

I thought maybe this dish would have 2 or 3 meatballs, but I was foolish to think so! Instead, there was about 5 or 6 delectable meatballs. I had to share a few so I could save room for courses 2 &3.

Cucina Market Bistro

For entrees, he ordered the braised beef oxtail with saba, polenta, and mushroom fricassee. The oxtail was slow cooked and coated in a sweet barbecue sauce, easily pulling apart into long, tender strands.

Cucina Market Bistro

Cucina Market Bistro

It was a pretty serious dish and quite filling!

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So handsome

Check out these cufflinks

I ordered the white gold ricotta gnocchi, topped with braised fennel and grana padano.

Cucina Market Bistro

I had been craving gnocchi all week, and this dish did not disappoint. Looking around the room, it was clearly a crowd favourite. The bite size balls were pasta completely stuffed with cheese and had a bit of a salty flavour.

Cucina Market Bistro

I know it’s a bit savage, but at one point I was picking them up with my hands, popping them into my mouth like pieces of popcorn.

Cucina Market Bistro

Seriously excellent if they stay on the menu, I’ll be ordering them for visits to come.

And then, just when we were totally stuffed of meat and cheese, out came our delicious (and decent-sized) desserts.

My tiramisu was made from a family recipe, topped with powdered sugar and milk chocolate shavings. Just look at that marscapone cheese.

Cucina Market Bistro

Crunchy ladyfingers sandwiched between light, pillowy mascarpone cheese. Just look at those layers.

Cucina Market Bistro

And for Cole, a warm sticky toffee pudding, on a bed of blood orange juice and cardamom gelato.

Cucina Market Bistro

You MUST try to sneak in before big taste ends….But if you can’t, here are there regular hours. I’ve been before and can attest that everything is as delicious as my gnocchi and the prices are really reasonable!

Oh and for lunch? They’ve got soups, sandwiches, and cookies available for take out!

<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/15/1708049/restaurant/Stephen-Avenue/Cucina-Calgary”><img alt=”Cucina on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/logo/1708049/minilogo.gif” style=”border:none;width:104px;height:15px” /></a>

Cucina on Urbanspoon

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