Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cucina Colore

A couple weeks ago, we met up with Sizzling Cupcake and her friend for dinner at Cucina Colore in Cherry Creek. Neither of us knew much about Cucina Colore, but we had picked it from the list of Denver's restaurants.

Cucina Colore has an outstanding location at 3rd and Steele Street in the heart of Cherry Creek North. If you've never soaked in the atmosphere of Cherry Creek North before, let me just sum it all up by pointing out that there is a giant Lululemon store right across the street from Cucina Colore.

Our reservations were for a 7 pm dinner on a Thursday night. Inside, the restaurant was packed with attractive, well-dressed Cherry Creek types. It had a very lively atmosphere and certainly seemed to be a popular local spot.

Cucina Colore apparently offers "the contemporary expression of Italian cuisine." I'm not sure what that means, but the menu features an array of pizzas and homemade pasta dishes.

For an appetizer, we ordered the Baked Fonduta, which was a cheese dip including blue crab, spinach, and artichoke hearts, with mozzarella and fontina cheese. After assuring us that our appetizer would be "right out", we waited a significant fraction of an eternity for the fonduta to arrive.

Baked Fonduta

After our ridiculously long wait for the fonduta, we were faced with a bowl of baked cheese surrounded by a haphazard assortment of crackers. The fonduta was ok; I mostly just tasted lots of cheese and crab.

We ordered one of their wood-fired pizzas with Italian sausage, red onion, and red peppers.

Red onion, pepper, and sausage pizza

It's hard to go wrong with red onion, red pepper, and sausage as toppings. I particularly loved the spicy Italian sausage. The crust, however, was a disappointment. It was burnt at the edges but too soft in the middle. We actually ordered two of these pizzas at the table, and they were both unevenly cooked. 

As his entree, my husband ordered the Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli:

Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli

Like the pizza and the cheese dip before it, the ravioli was a letdown. The seafood filling was heavily pureed and lacked a noticeable lobster flavor. The pasta was covered with a cream sauce that was thin and weakly seasoned.

For dessert, we ordered tiramisu and cheesecake:

The presentation of the tiramisu was a little sloppy, and the portion a bit too big. I didn't detect much of a coffee or liquor taste, but it was basically a decent dessert.

The cheesecake, however, was extremely bland. It wasn't nearly sweet enough, and it lacked any noticeable lemon or vanilla flavor.

Even with our 30% discount, Cucina Colore felt too expensive. The tab was about $95 after our discount, including about $20 of drinks.

Cucina Colore looks and feels like a hip neighborhood spot, but tastes like a mediocre Italian chain. It also reminded me of every forgettable business lunch or dinner I've ever had. The restaurant has a great atmosphere, but service was slow and food was expensive and totally underwhelming.

Casual Dining

(3 of 10)

Pros: Great location in Cherry Creek North, lively atmosphere
Cons: Mediocre food, slow service


Cucina Colore on Urbanspoon


  1. the ravioli LOOKS good but seriously...I never really go balls out for expensive me snotty but other than pasta at Rioja, I've never been impressed with "fancy" italian...and what is up with cherry creek? Their restaurants are not that good!