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“Loved this place” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alta Cucina - CLOSED

Alta Cucina
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Jonesborough, Tennessee
2 reviews
“Loved this place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2013

First the owner is the nicest man, greats you and just has a great personality. Our waitress was also wonderful. I was a little worried after reading some reviews that were not so good. I was reluctant to order any appetizer or salads. I just was worried it would not be good food. Wow was I wrong the garden salad in so good lots of fresh veggies and homemade salad dressings. The entree's were out of this world! Dessert was ok, but I am picky because I own a bakery. I was so glad to discover this place. All I can say is the people giving bad reviews have never had true Italian food. Olive Garden is fine but not true classic italian food. Forgot to mention the incredible bread and olive oil dip! We could not get enough of it!!!!!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Janet W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

130 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    74
    34
    12
    7
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
149 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Solid local Italian restaurant”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2013 via mobile

For those who like to avoid typical chain restaurants, Alta Cucina is an excellent option in the Johnson City area. The atmosphere is family and friendly--not glitz; wait staff gracious and quick, but not pushy or in a hurry. Food is reasonably priced, with typical standard and filled pasta dishes; tasty, plainly presented, generous portions; not spectacular generally, though the cold mozzarella appetizer is fantastic as others have said. Adult beverage menu adequate and also reasonably priced. Avoid the standard off the highway fare; drive a few extra miles, and enjoy a good meal in a cozy, family style neighborhood eatery!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Homepete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johnson City, Tennessee
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great lunch; simple, cheap, and delicious”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

My wife and I live nearby and decided to give this little place a try. Good decision. We both ordered sub sandwiches [meatball . . . turkey pastrami]. They come with a small caesar salad, and bread in a basket, along with dipping oil. The bread and sub rolls were both first rate. We both enjoyed our lunch, and took half of it home . . . and it was just as good reheated. If you have the time, for lunch this place was far eclipses any fast food joint at about the same price. Service was slow at first because the table bread was still in the oven! This is a good-food place, not a fast-food place.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Blueridgebob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greeneville, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“For People Who Can Appreciate Objective Reviews”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2013

Before my wife, my sister and myself headed out to eat tonight, I read many reviews of Alta Cucina. I found it very curious the hot and cold nature of what I read. There is rarely an in between opinion expressed. The haters just hate, and those who praise do so with the zeal of the recently converted. Therefore, for your consideration I present this review.
I called ahead at 8 pm on a Sunday and was treated with courtesy by the staff. We arrived at 8:45 and opted to eat outside. The weather was perfect. There was a fire burning on the patio contributing to the ambiance, except when the wind would blow the smoke in our direction. The smoke did not accost us close to any point that we were uncomfortable. So far, so good.
Our server promptly took our drink orders while we perused the menu. There is a good selection of appetizers as well as entrees and desserts. The drink wine list was better for ordering by the glass, and the house wines were very tasty.
We started with the calamari, fresh mozzarella, and crab-cakes. The calamari was good but not excellent. The breading was nice and light, and not overly salted. It was easy to tell the fryer oil was fresh and clean, and the squid was cooked to the perfect point of chewiness be gone. It was served with a marinara sauce. While there was nothing wrong with the calamari and in fact it was very nice to eat, it did not strike me as being special. So: good but run of the mill.
The crab-cakes were better than the calamari. The appetizer consisted of 2 cakes, about 3" in diameter and just over an inch thick. A completely different animal from Maryland style crab-cakes, these didn't seem fried and full of breading, but on the contrary is there was breading i them it must have been sifted almost to the point of powder. There were lumps of crab meat intermingled with onions and mushrooms. The spinach was cooked thoroughly but not to the point of an over reduction. There was some balsamic vinegar on the plate which paired very well with the dish. he spinach did however have a slightly acidic flavor, whether it was white vinegar or lemon juice or something else I couldn't tell. I did not prefer the tang is imparted to the dish. A very good dish, I would make subtle changes, but still very good.
Now, the fresh mozzarella. I must admit that I am not the biggest fan of mozzarella, I tend to find it bland and uninteresting. This dish is far from bland or uninteresting. In fact, I would say that to call it just "fresh mozzarella" is a misnomer. I would call this a napoleon-caprese. A beautifully presented plate with a stack of tomatoes, fresh sweet basil, and slices of fresh mozzarella, with basil pesto and balsamic vinegar to finish it out. It was awesome! the balsamic was slightly thick and sweet, not too much though, and cut the acidity of the tomatoes while bringing out the complex flavor of the basil. It clung to the mozzarella like a fine silk slip, giving the forward flavor of savory wooded perfume, followed instantly by the cool and soothing cheese. All the components danced delicately together in any arrangement. Well done, it is worth eating at Alta Cucina just for this light dish. Quite nearly a religious experience.
Please pardon my brevity for the remainder of the meal. Their bread is excellent, toasty on the outside soft and moist on the inside. The olive oil and herbs served with the bread is also very nice. Fresh rosemary and other herbs, I think thyme, oregano and Parmesan cheese, and some red pepper, all blending well in the oil, and on the bread, awesome.
We were all very pleased with our entrees. I had the stuffed chicken breast. It was served with a roasted red-pepper sauce, the flavor of which could have been developed more fully, but it was very good.
On the whole we had a great time. The service was timely and attentive, no to mention easy on the eyes, and the food was delicious. It is not a place to go and eat if you do not want a relaxed and unhurried experience. If you don't want to spend at least $20 per person, this is not the place to go. If you are incapable of appreciating well prepared recipes, cooked expertly and served with decorum and grace this is not the place for you. It is true that there were small mistakes in the service, but nothing that brought about calamity or disaster.
We were at the restaurant until 10:30, 30 minutes past there closing. We were never rushed nor did we ever feel unwelcome. D yourself a favor and if you feel personally qualified to appreciate the experience that is Alta Cucina, go, eat, drink, and be merry.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Ben S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oviedo, Florida
Level Contributor
123 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Nice little Italian place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2013

Excellent pastas and great sandwiches for lunch in a small building that's decorated just like you thought it would be when you first drove by,

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank geomon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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