Cucina Rustica

 7000 State Route 179
Sedona, AZ

Didn't Live up to ARIZONA HWYS Best of Arizona Rating

This restaurant is on AZ Hwys Best of AZ 2010, which is why we tried it on a day trip to Sedona. It started well. The decor and ambiance, while a bit dark at the tables is heavily in Spanish & Italian influences. Deduct points for walking us past the service area to our back room table instead of through the front dining room. The Antipastis: the grilled artichoke with lemon pesto aioli was excellent and the Affinato, radicchio rolled with Croatian fig marmalade & Mozzarella cheese wrapped in prosciuttio and grilled would have been excellent except one of the rolls was not grilled thoroughly to melt the cheese. The Vitello Justino, thin veal with mushrooms, gorgonzola and orzo riso was excellent. Tender is a fine marsala. As was an item I cannot name because while it was a regular menu item it does not appear on the website menu. It consisted of chicken penne with vegetables in a chipolte cream sauce. I had one of the nightly specials, a mahi mahi with green beans and orzo riso. Mushy fish ruined the dish. My dessert was a flourless chocolate cake. I’ve had several from restaurants across the country and they can be quite different from one another. This one’s interior was more pudding consistency than cake, though the flavor was good. The port paired with it was a great disappointment, very surprising as they have an Award of Excellence, 2007 from Wine Spectator. Described as a ‘chocolate port’, while a ruby, it had the strong alcohol bite of a tawny, which I don’t enjoy. I’d recommend pairing a Graham’s Port with chocolate (A Graham’s with anything chocolate cannot be beat!) either the Graham’s Six Grapes or their Vintage Port. The service was good but not of the fine detail we expect of a restaurant of this level.

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