Quince transforms into Italian restaurant La Cucina
Like many businesses that have used the pandemic as a time of reinvention, Quince Bistro is coming out of the lockdown with a whole new focus, new name and a new menu.
Chef Otta Zapotocky is channeling his passion for Italy into the culinary reinvention which he is calling La Cucina by Quince.
He joked he has been crushing on Italy so hard that he either had to open an Italian restaurant or move to Italy.
It is in La Cucina, meaning kitchen, that Zapotocky plans to put his own spin on cuisine from multiple regions in Italy.
He said Quince has been well supported throughout the pandemic but that time was also a period of self reflection.
“I wanted to find focus,” said Zapotocky. “It gave us time to think.”
He said he believes that people are looking for something new as we come out of a lockdown, and he is looking forward to offering some healthier options.
Although pasta may not come to mind when thinking of lighter fare, Zapotocky is developing light variations in addition to the classic dishes on the menu, including options for gluten-free, and vegan, with lots of vegetables and greens. All pasta – lasagne in bianco, ravioli “a la vodka”, carbonnara, orecchiette, gnocchi margherita, bolognese, spaghetti al pesto – will be cooked to order.
He said the Italian menu will better allow him to use seasonal local ingredients but other ingredients, like the buffalo mozzarella, will be delivered fresh from Italy because nothing can compare. For instance, the risotto currently features local asparagus but that will change with the season.
Zapotocky said he wasn’t going to have pizzas on the menu because he doesn’t want to compete with local pizzerias but he has decided to do very specific styles of pizza fresca and pizza bianca, the latter is a flat oval doughs are cooked with béchamel sauce and then topped with pears, walnuts, gorgonzola, honey, arugula, figs and balsamic reduction.
Zapotocky wants people to know that the schnitzel night will be making a special appearance now and again in the future, and although frites and slaw will not be on the menu, they will be available by special request.
La Cucina will remain open for take-out and will be opening its patio as of 5 p.m. Friday, with a new espresso machine in service.
The full menu is posted at www.lacucinacreemore.com.