Sunday, April 14, 2019


We were in Asheville again this past weekend, and we decided to try a restaurant there that we'd not been to before: Cucina 24.  The restaurant has been on many top 10 lists, and it is located right on Wall Street in downtown Asheville.

24 Wall Street
Asheville, NC

Cucina 24 had been on our radar for some time, but we either couldn't get a reservation when we wanted one or made alternate plans.  But we were excited to FINALLY be going.

We arrived for an early dinner around 6:30pm, and the place was half full.  But in no time it was bustling.  The entire bar was covered up with people eating dinner there that weren't able to get a reservation ahead of time.

We were seated at a 2 top table and presented with menus.

Our server Aubry arrived shortly thereafter and explained the menu to us.  Everything is fresh - they make their own pastas and all the vegetables come from a farm 15 minutes away.  You can order ala carte or have their tasting menu (see below) for $48 per person.  That's what we decided to go with:

And the wine menu is a little daunting in that it is entirely in Italian.  I decided that since the menu was a seasonal Spring menu, we'd go with an Italian Rose:
We sipped our rose and noshed on some thin tall breadsticks that were on the table (and were delicious btw).

Then after a bit our food began arriving.  

First up was the asparagus.  It was cooked quickly and served with a soft egg, a salsa verde made with fresh ramps (like scallions) and sautéed crunchy garlic was atop.  The dish was outstanding.
Next up was a carrot display.  I've never raved about carrots, but OMG!  These were in a brown butter (probably I'd eat absolutely ANYTHING if it's in brown butter!).  They were not over cooked, and there was an apple vinegar there that gave each bite a kick. SO GOOD!
The next nosh was a tuna crudo.  I'm not sure, but this dish might have been my favorite.  I love tuna crudo, but this one was over the top served with blood orange segments.  On top of it all was a fresh nasturtium that gave it another little level of flavor.  We were sad it was only a few bites!
The next dish was delish as well.  It was grilled bread served alongside stracciatella cheese with fresh peas and drizzled with olive oil.  The dish was topped with fresh mint.  It was the perfect Spring tribute dish!
The last of the appetizers or starters was the "salad".  It was fresh greens (assorted) with a fresh anchovy dressing (basically a mild version of a caesar dressing).  It was fresh and delicious.  We left nary a morsel!
Then came the two pasta dishes.  The first one was "little hats" or cappaletti pasta with ramps, marscapone and lemon.  The pasta was perfectly cooked al dente and the combination of flavors again = SPRING!  Fabulous!
The second pasta dish was this one below.  Two different fettuccini sized pastas with fave beans and fresh kale blossoms.  It was light and flavorful.   We loved it!
Then came our entrees.  These were the only things we had to decide on the tasting menu.  My husband went with the pork ribeye and WOW!  It was soaked in milk then served with peas, crumbled focaccia, almonds, and mint.  Fabulous!
I went with the tuna.  This dish was superb!  Perfectly seared tuna served with fresh chokeberry juice (jus) that was just "in season" - broccoli, knotweed and golden raisins.  Incredibly good.

Finally, our dessert.  I'm not one to normally be able to even fathom eating dessert but this one was perfection.  An olive oil gelato drizzled with strawberry juice.  Fresh South Carolina strawberries tossed in sugar and crunchy chocolate and hazelnut cookies.  It was just the right amount and every bite was better than the last.

We LOVED Cucina 24!  The food just is above and beyond some of the best we've had in Asheville (and that's saying A LOT).  And a note about the tasting menu: these dishes were so carefully thought out.  We left feeling full but not stuffed and miserable.  Each course was small so that you didn't get over-stuffed, but you were also able to get enough of a taste to enjoy each one.  Bravo!

I can't wait to go back!