15 Gertrude Street
Casa Ciuccio is brought to you by the team behind Bar Lourinha. Gertrude Street is becoming a little bit of a McConnell family affair, with Cutler & Co just a few lots down, and the upcoming Builder’s Arm Hotel.
We are led to the back, a lovely L shaped counter overlooking the grilling and plating. It’s cosy and intimate, and we find ourselves in conversation with those next to us, as we admire what is being plated up at the pass, as well as what is being presented to us. The dishes are hard to resist and you can’t help but want to tack on more orders.
Bread is cold, with creamy butter that needed a pinch of salt.
Crab Filled Guernica Peppers ($4)
Wanting to move straight into the heavier dishes, we take them up on one of their tapas - served cold but it’s nice fresh clean flavours.
Casa Ciuccio (pronounced “Choo-Cho”) literally translates to Donkey House in Italian, and you can’t miss it.
From the gorgeous motif on the wine glass.
The little knick knacks stashed away.
And even up on the wall.
What I love most about Casa Ciuccio is it’s all about sharing and they graciously offer half portions for quite a fair few dishes, allowing you to sample many of the delights on their menu.
Northern King Prawn, Chilli Salt & Lime ($9)
We move on to the grill selections. The prawn is sweet and succulent, lightly charred with a squeeze of lime.
Octopus Tentacle ($10/100g)
A 140g portion, but I could have done with more. The octopus is hot, beautifully succulent and tender with a heavenly char, perfect with the lemon. Simply divine, a must order.
Pork Tongue & Romesco ($9)
I love ox tongue, but pork tongue? Just as good. It’s beautifully tender, the pork flavour is quite strong, seated on a gorgeous light nutty romesco base.
Zucchini, Eggplant & Labneh ($7.5)
Served cold, charred zucchini, smoky eggplant and soft creamy labneh, with mint for freshness.
Veal Rib ($35)
And we move onto the heavyweights - the coal pit where meats are cooked for a minimum of three hours. This is the only one that they can’t do a half portion for. The veal rib wasn’t perfect, but most of it was juicy, tender and quite delicious for such a relatively leaner cut.
Accompanied by roasted potatoes, which are fluffy within despite the slightly tougher jacket.
Casa Ciuccio does simple clean plates of delicious grilled meats. Simple concept but beautifully executed. Perfect for sharing and a boozy night out.