Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cucina Picarelli (Long Beach)


I want to give this place 3 stars but after 2 visits, nothing stands out.  Don't get me wrong. The place isn't bad but as for what I have tasted, there is nothing to rave about.

So, why did I give it 2 stars?  Because I found the restaurant to be average.  Add to that, the fact that they don't offer beer or cocktails and that's how I arrived at my conclusion.    
As far as what I ate - I don't remember what I had on my first visit (a couple of years ago) and if it weren't for the pictures I took this time around, I probably would have forgotten what I had this time as well.  And that's the thing; nothing I've eaten here, compels me to want to have it again.

Bread and Tapenade are brought to the table and they're okay.

I tried the Tomato Basil Cream Soup and the only hint of basil (fresh or otherwise) I got was from the Basil leaf garnish.  I didn't care much for the soup.  I saw other people having soups that did appear better tasting.  I'd stay away from the tomato soup.

I tried the Spinach Fettucini with Scallops in a Light Lemon-Basil Sauce.  This was my favorite dish but the scallops arrived in pieces - I don't know if it was meant to be served this way but I found it a bit odd.  2 scallops were almost whole yet another was torn to shreds.  That aside, I did enjoy the dish and I did taste the Basil here.

I also tried the Gnocchi with Homemade Pesto Sauce.  I liked this dish but I find gnocchi to get a bit boring halfway through.  No complexity to it.  Every bite is the same.  I would have no problem with gnocchi if it were served as a side dish.  Anyone else feel this way?  I don't know, it could just be me.  Regardless of that, my "gnocchi issues" had no bearing on my rating of the restaurant.

Service was good and the place is nice.  The owner is usually there to greet you as well. You are made to feel welcome and at home, as it appears this place was at one time or another.

They have a tiny lot for 2 or 3 cars directly in front and street parking is your other option.  Parking on the street was not troublesome for me for the 2 visits I made.      

I wish the restaurant luck but I probably will not return.  Twice is enough for me.

Tapenade - (Ground Olives, Capers, Anchovies & Olive Oil) for Crusty Bread.

Tomato-Basil Cream Soup.

Spinach Fettucini with Scallops in a Light Lemon-Basil Sauce.

Gnocchi with Homemade Pesto Sauce and Toasted Pine Nuts.

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