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Review: La Pietra Cucina (1)

Be careful what you wish for.

Last November, in my original review of La Pietra Cucina, I complained about the strangeness of the dining room, which was a small room adjacent to the massive space that once housed MidCity Cuisine. I hoped for a grander space to showcase chef Bruce Logue’s irrepressible Italian cooking. Then, in May, the restaurant closed for a short while and reopened using the entire footprint, repurposing the original dining room as a private dining space.

So what, then, could my hypocritical (and apparently hypercritical) heart possibly find wrong with that? Wait for it ... I hate the new space. I miss the slightly disjointed but quirky feel of the original room.

I know, I know. It isn’t so much that the space has been redesigned, but how. Deep maroon with gold accents make up the palette — walls the color of Elvira’s lipstick; heavily gilded picture frames holding weighty paintings of monarchs and horses; chairs swathed in dark yellow velvet. Frank Sinatra croons through the speakers. It’s like someone’s rococo fantasy of what a fancy Italian restaurant should be — which is fine, I guess, except that once again, it doesn’t match Logue’s cooking in the slightest.

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(Photo by James Camp)