This past weekend, the critics and I traveled across town to one of the most delicious and hospitable dining experiences in the nation. The cuisine is unparalleled every single time, the cocktails flow freely, and the hosts are filled with laughter, kindness, and fantastic (perhaps on occasion slightly embellished) storytelling. It is tough to get a reservation; the schedule kept at Bella Cucina is incredibly complex. Glancing at the organizational whiteboard kept near the kitchen reminds you that your time here has been no small feat to include within the timetable. Although Bella Cucina is not accepting reservations, I would encourage you to re-create your own version as the weeks pass by.
Bella Cucina, you see, is the name I’ve given the kitchen in my sister-in-law’s home, and although it has authentic Italian roots (Sicilian, to be precise), our experience last weekend had an Irish flair to it in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
We walked in slightly late (after suffering through a third NCAA basketball debacle, with Michigan losing to MSU again) and we were greeted by the wagging host, Rocco (named for the patron saint of dogs), who had been dyed green by the devious trick-playing sprite, John Leprechaun in the early morning hours. Smells of steaming corned beef, cabbage and roasting potatoes filled the air and Guinness was placed in our hands before we could get our jackets to the rack. Shouts of laughter and excitement from the kids as their Instagram page blew up from the trick shots they posted on Dude Toaster (look it up, I swear it’s a thing!) Threads of memories and future visions wove together in conversation, and plates were filled with delightful Irish cuisine. The chef at Bella Cucina could make Stone Soup a mouthwatering delight. She’s just that good.
The house filled with friends and family, love and laughter and Bella Cucina delivered yet another spectacular event. Because Bella Cucina does not simply create a meal for an occasion, it produces an outstanding event that lives in the same place you keep all your favorite memories.
As you look forward into the 2019 calendar, it is important you make the time to create your own Bella Cucina (with a kitchen name unique to you and your family – this one is already taken), your own spectacular events. There is no greater gift in this world than the memories you make with your family, and there is no better time than now to begin shaping them.
It is no small achievement to commandeer a recipe from my sister-in-law, the chef at Bella Cucina…when asked she tends to say “Oh I don’t know, it’s easy…” and then the conversation somehow turns. I wish I could describe the look on her face when one time I asked what she puts in her marinara sauce…suffice it to say that the marinara she makes will remain a closely guarded secret. However, there are a few really impressive dishes she has shared, and I’ll continue to badger her for more as the years go by. Stay tuned…there are sure to be more events at Bella Cucina.