Cuchi Cuchi Coo

cuchicuchi.bmpEarlier this month Jon and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, an event that served as the impetus for finally booking a sitter after what’s seemed like about 8 years. And the outing – to luscious Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge – was just what the doctor ordered after a crazy spring, during which I realized I was taking care of everything around me except my marriage.
If you love fine fare and are looking to reconnect with your partner or head out for a festive evening with friends, definitely visit Cuchi Cuchi. Glamourously designed in vivid colors and vintage décor, and with a staff outfitted in saucy retro attire that immediately made me want to hit the nearby Garment District for a fabulous feathered hat, Cuchi Cuchi immediately transports via their aesthetics.

Their food and drink then follow through to deliver the complete experience. Similar in concept to Dali Restaurant’s tapas, but different in that the menu is international, Cuchi Cuchi’s “straight-up” or “small plates” are meant to be ordered in multiples and shared. Particular favorites from our meal included the fried artichoke hearts (delicately crispy on the outside and oozing with gorgonzola, pistachios, and basil; I would knock back a dozen of those suckers if I thought it would be remotely reasonable for my health…), seafood-filled avocado (a refreshing combination of lobster, shrimp, scallops, octopus, crabmeat, and salsa in an avocado half), and the duck a l'orange crepes (subtle at first taste, then deliciously rich with a fresh citrus and fennel edge). We also were completely satisfied by offerings from the full bar and dessert menu (specifically, their tiramisu and chocolate cake).

In a nutshell, the evening was decadent and lovely, save the irony of a couple and their screaming toddler being seated right behind me about 10 minutes into the meal. Devoted readers will know that I’m all about introducing kids to restaurants, but I think the venue ought to be fair to where a kid is at developmentally. Meaning, I considered the toddler’s screeches (escalated when one parent put a hand over the kid’s mouth to try to get him to be quiet) completely age appropriate - just not appropriate for a notably romantic, special occasion restaurant like Cuchi Cuchi.

On the other hand, as someone who is notoriously lame about hiring sitters, maybe this was that couple’s romantic evening out. And ultimately, the staff handled the situation beautifully, offering kind words to the couple and distraction to the child. And as the cocktails settled in and the happy din of the restaurant escalated, the truth was, the grown-ups all became just as noisy as the child.

Cuchi Cuchi, 795 Main Street, Cambridge; Tel: 617-864-2929