Cucina 105 (as in 105 Moore Street) is one of most respected restaurants in Liverpool. It's long been one of those go-to restaurants to take friends or for a work/business lunch.
I hadn't been back to this Italian institution for years, but after receiving a Groupon deal, how could I say no?
Not much has changed from my memory. Its décor is still modern straight lines with an industrial concrete floor with massive blackboards advertising the specials in large enough scrawl for even the most vision impaired.
It's a slightly limited menu tonight. Well, a very limited entree. It's Bruschetta or bust. Mains is pizza or pasta and seafood is mostly out apart from crab. So it's a fettuccini with crab, asparagus, chilli with a Neapolitan sauce with a touch of cream and we go for the most expensive pizza option, the $26.90 prosciutto, mozzarella and rocket.
Wine is a red/white choice. A Cabernet Sauvignon or a Sauvignon Blanc and we both go the sav-blanc hailing from Griffith.
The service starts somewhat stilted and awkward with our waiter looking and sounding a bit like Manuel from Fawlty Towers with a moustache hangover from Movember. It progressively improves as the dishes come out and by the end; we're best buddies wishing each other a happy life.
The bruchetta is a bit of a disappointment and in dire need of some good quality olive oil. A good dose of salt and pepper makes it more palatable for this fuss pot.
The two mains arrive even before my birthday celebrating co-diner has even finished the first course. I don't recall that ever happening ever. We start with the pizza. It's a simple but tasty affair. The three principle ingredients provide all the flavour one could hope for. The only disappointment is that the crust could have been crispier. The crab pasta dish doesn't look so hot on the plate but it's the tastier dish, probably thanks to the touch of chilli and cream.
Dessert is very limited. It's gelato or the gelato and they've run out of hazelnut. Oh well, lucky lemon is my favourite flavour and birthday girl likes it as well, especially when it's served with a scoop of chocolate.
Coffee is not included but I can't have a dessert without it. It's decent coffee, so it should be at an established well respected Italian restaurant like Cucina 105.