Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Cuoco – South Lake Union, Seattle

Posted on: Monday 08 August 2011

We’ve had meals with several Australians in the last couple of weeks. Some were visiting for work, others were on holiday. There’s a homely comfort to hearing an Aussie accent, laughing at a sarcastic comment and understanding a cultural reference.

Our sunburnt country is girt by sea and with the exception of New Zealand, it takes many hours on a plane to get to another country. In this tyranny of distance, Aussies tend to travel for weeks and months and not days.

Sustained by a warm day and long daylight hours, Mr N overcame jet lag for dinner at Cuoco. Occupying the street level of the Terry Avenue Building, the restaurant is resplendent in its restoration with brick walls, wooden beams and Georgian windows.

A wide entrance welcomes you with a view of the open plan pasta making area, lined with Atlas Marcato pasta machines in rainbow hues. We were ushered to the bar for an apéritif before being seated at our table.

I noticed a couple of private dining rooms, ideal for business meetings and special celebrations. I read on the website that there’s also a chef’s table, a concept that’s popular (and expensive) in Sydney.

The tables had dividers or were generously spaced which made for good conversation. As with all other Tom Douglas restaurants, Cuoco is dimly lit but we were lucky to be by a window.

We shared house made bread with extra virgin olive oil tasting. Fresh and fluffy, the thickly sliced bread had a chewy crust and a soft centre for soaking up the fluorescent liquids.

Our waiter was congenial and knowledgeable about the menu. Mr S ordered spaghetti with garlic, anchovy, breadcrumbs, chilli flakes, Parmigiano and grilled wild prawns. A dryer style pasta with flavoured breadcrumbs, the combination was a pleasant textural contrast. The prawns were succulent and added bulk to the meal.

Mr N craved a classic dish after seventeen hours of airline and airport food. The seven layer lasagna with tiers of Bolognese and besciamella was cosy and soothing.

I don’t recall ever eating lamb in pasta so I was intrigued by the lamb ravioli served with garlic, spring onions, English peas and Pecorino. Plain in appearance, the flat, jagged edged parcels were silky and protected a dollop of finely minced lamb.

A bowl of Bing cherries was the dessert special but my love for chocolate and hazelnut pairings prevailed. Salted, roasted and crushed hazelnuts were scattered on top of a slice of chocolate Nutella semifreddo. The waiter brought three spoons but only one was used – mine!

It was still dusk as we left. Mr N commented that Seattle is a liveable city in summer and we wholeheartedly agree.

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2 Responses to "Cuoco – South Lake Union, Seattle"

[…] I have never eaten a Filipino meal until the Thrilla in Manila pop up dinner at Ting Momo. Cuoco line cook Herschell Taghap was our host, DJ and chef for the […]

[…] to the trio of Tom Douglas restaurants in the Terry Avenue Building and opposite Portage Bay Café, it is an emerging dining […]

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