Destination: Cucina Pazzo

In Food

The culinary team behind The Tavern, The Shack and The Corner Pub & Grill have moved into the Central West End. On Friday, Nov. 15, Brant Baldanza and Justin Haifley debuted Cucina Pazzo, an Italian fine dining eatery in the space formerly occupied by Duff’s Restaurant.

Toasts. Image courtesy of Cucina Pazzo.

Toasts. Image courtesy of Cucina Pazzo.

The space has undergone a major redesign since Duff’s closed in June, replacing the pub-like decor with modern, European-styled furnishings. The 130-seat restaurant has a modern Italian menu to match.

Items are divided into antipasti, pasta, panini, entrees and desserts. The antipasti section includes a variety of toasts (bruschetta), soups, salads and small plates. Among the highlights are the JH toast with caramel butter, pancetta and asiago; mortadella corndogs; and the escarole salad, served with buttermilk-kalamata dressing.

Pastas come in house-made or imported versions, and a selection of ravioli and risottos are also offered. Try the Bacon Carmelle, candy-shaped pasta with balsamic onions in a Maytag blue cheese sauce.

Larger appetites should head to the entrée section, where the Pork Vicenza—a grilled pork porterhouse with pear mostarda, meaux mustard sauce and sautéed zucchini—is a stand-out. Drink options include 12 bottled beers and 14 brews on tap, as well as a wine list heavy with Italian reds.

Cucina Pazzo is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week; Sunday brunch service starts this weekend.

392 N. Euclid Ave., Central West End, 314.696.8400, 

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