Some Italian restaurants channel the atmosphere of a big family meal at home, while others emphasize Italy’s tradition of elegant fine dining. Regulars at the newly-opened La Cucina Italian Eatery say that this Somerville restaurant balances itself right between these two alternatives, offering diners a casual, friendly atmosphere and a menu full of elevated Italian dishes.
When you arrive, you’ll want to start your meal with a couple of snacks for the table (try the roasted marinated olives and the crispy golden polenta fries, for example). Popular main dishes include the house-made gnocchi with winter mushrooms, black truffles, and parmigiano cream sauce, as well as meat-focused dishes like veal scallopini with prosciutto, Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese, and marsala sauce on top. Whatever you choose, be sure that you leave room for dessert, as this place has quickly developed a reputation for its sweet treats. Go for a slice of traditional tiramisu — and add a scoop of gelato if you really want to treat yourself.