“There’s lots to applaud here.” MVT’s Cucina Morini Receives High Praise from The Washington Post Food Critic Tom Sietsema!

Thursday June 27, 2024

The reviews are in and the only thing clearer than a “Morini Martini” is how much The Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema enjoys Cucina Morini! The write-up, which includes praise for Cucina Morini’s “buoyant service from guides who know the menu and deliver orders with pride,” details Sietsema’s thoughts on the simple Sicilian-inspired menu from Chef Matt Adler and even allows readers a peak into the critic’s “self-care” routine which reportedly includes ordering the fresh bread “sfincione” from the appetizer menu!

Congratulation to Chef Adler and the entire Cucina Morini team on a great review that is very well earned! Check out our preview of Cucina Morini on Instagram, see below for an excerpt, and read the full review at

Sicily is blessed with quality vegetables, a lesson delivered by a delicious snack of cauliflower tossed with apricot and spark plugs including pickled shallots and fried capers. The other sfizi, or little whims, include a carryover from Osteria Morini — meatballs enriched by mortadella and prosciutto — and fried calamari, made similarly to the model at Caruso’s Grocery but with a finer breading. So yes, you want calamari from Rhode Island that’s light from a soak in club soda and fried so that parts are crisp and parts are soft. A small plate of stracciatella lasts about as long as it takes me to type this sentence. Shredded cheese excited with anchovies, lemon zest and salsa verde are to blame.

Pastas are rolled out on-site and offered in two sizes. The combination that puts me closest to sun-drenched Sicily is paccheri alla Norma (named for an Italian opera): fried eggplant, San Marzano tomato and filings of ricotta salata that melt in the heat of the large-tubed pasta, forming a web of cheese on the surface. Along with fresh basil, they’re just a few great ingredients playing nice. The warmth of the gramigna comes from crumbled pork sausage and a rich cloak of egg yolks, cream and black pepper covering the curlicues of pasta. Rigatoni boasts welcome resistance and a subtly sweet lamb ragu hit with rosemary. In my experience, the small, or primi, portions are enough for two if you’re also getting a main course. (The kitchen is in good hands. Chef de cuisine Kris Jimenez was plucked from Osteria Morini, which he still manages, and helped open the popular Le Diplomate.)