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“Could be better”
Review of Cucina

Ranked #4 of 587 Restaurants in Derby
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$14 - US$29
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Italian trattoria, serving homemade fresh food 5 days a week. Family run, local institution, opened by Alfonso Mallardo, and now run by his two sons. In the evenings, we serve a mixture of Italian classics, and some more adventurous specials. Pop in for lunch for a quick bowl of pasta or platters of antipasti.
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Could be better”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

My girlfriend and I visited Cucina last month on a Saturday evening.

Looking through the internet to try and find a menu, we were surprised we couldn't find one. Nevertheless we were still looking forward to the meal based on Tripadvisor reviews.

Starting with the positives... upon arrival the décor is welcoming, the place had a quaint Italian feel to it. The food was good, in the top 5 Italian meals I've had for taste and very generous portion sizes (one of the biggest fishcakes I have ever had!). If this review was based on food quality and quantity alone it would get a 4-5 star review... however I consider the whole experience and unfortunately this was let down by other elements of the evening.

Negative points... the service was very, very, very slow. We waited more than 40 minutes after ordering for our starters to arrive, followed by a similar wait in between starters and mains and another wait to get the bill. We did get an apology from who we assumed was the owner when he passed us whilst waiting on tables, which was welcomed, but when you finish your drink well before your starter even arrives you really just want to start your meal.

A further disappointment was the food and drinks menus. The food menu was a little limited which is only a minor disappointment for me but I can imagine other diners would prefer more choice. The wine menu disappointed me more. The wines on the menu looked like they could be nice but unless you were drinking the house wine you had to buy the full bottle. I'm used to seeing this on more expensive wines but when you only have one option by the glass, and only in red or white (no rose) it's a bit limited. Even mid-range wines were only available by the bottle.

A slight gripe at the end when we received the final bill we noticed that we had been charged for 6 glasses of wine rather than 4, when I politely pointed this out to waiter there was a small debate where I had to re-iterate a few times that we only had 2 glasses of wine each, he finally accepted that we were right and brought back a reduced bill.

Final negative... the staff seemed overwhelmed with the amount of customers. At one point, who we thought was the owner, shouted (in Italian) at his kitchen staff and with it being open plan you could see and hear it all - not very professional. Also at the end of our meal there were two separate couples that had been waiting for a table for at least 15 minutes and seemed to be getting a little agitated at the lack of attention shown to them.

The evening overall was ok as per the 3 out of 5. They need a website or at least an online menu. If service speed picked up (more staff?) and there were more choices of wine by the glass I could see me coming here again, however as it stands I won't be back in the foreseeable future.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Robbo83RD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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568 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
157 reviews
134 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014 via mobile

Visited with friends based on trip advisor rating. Small, family run trattoria with friendly service.

Shared a couple of garlic breads and anti pasti platter, lovely, the garlic bread was fresh, hot and overall one of the best we've ever had. Two lasagnes - generous portions, arrabiatta pasta, side salad and belly pork with crispy crackling served on rhubarb with asparagus and rosemary roasted potatoes - all gorgeous and tasty. A bottle of red, 3 bottles of lager and a glass of rose all for £90.

Excellent in every aspect and can't wait for a return visit soon.

2 Thank fatandfrantic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

ate here last month, simply fantastic, service was great, very friendly with a lot of character. love the open kitchen, food was amazing, one of the best meals i've had.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank travis_derby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great, comfortable and casual”
Reviewed 30 May 2014 via mobile

I've lived in Derby for 12 years and I didn't know about this place until yesterday; It's a great little place with a relaxed cafe atmosphere, but the food is great for an evening out with friends or a casual date. The evening we were there was very busy. Service was still attentive and it's good value. Recommended.

Visited May 2014
Thank Peadaros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Sons 18th”
Reviewed 30 May 2014 via mobile

There were 4 of us dining for my sons 18th birthday. In the afternoon they rang and checked his age. When we arrived the table was decorated and helium balloon floating above it. The food was gorgeous the service was excellent. Lovely warm friendly atmosphere. A great place to celebrate any occasion. Highly recommended.

1 Thank AngieBird27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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