Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review Preview: Cucina Pazzo

Posted By on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Cucina Pazzo | Jennifer Silverberg
  • Cucina Pazzo | Jennifer Silverberg

A few years ago it would have been unthinkable to imagine the Central West End without Duff's. Then the St. Louis icon shuttered its doors last July, and Cucina Pazzo (392 North Euclid Avenue; 314-696-8400) stepped in to fill the void.

See Also: Cucina Pazzo Brings Rustic Italian to Former Duff's Location in the Central West End

This is the fourth restaurant in the OG Hospitality Group's portfolio, which includes the Tavern Kitchen & Bar. Cucina Pazzo's kitchen is led by Food & Wine magazine's 2013 "People's Best New Chef: Midwest" nominee Justin Haifley. All in all, it's a great pedigree, but is it enough to replace a legend?

This week, I visit Cucina Pazzo to see how this new restaurant is filling some very big shoes. Here is a sneak preview of my thoughts -- the full review will be online tomorrow and in this week's issue.

The specter of Duff's hangs heavily in the air at Cucina Pazzo. From the rustic brick archway that separates the bar and dining room, to the gouges in the wooden floorboards that saw 41 years of footsteps, it is impossible to walk into 392 North Euclid without feeling at least slightly nostalgic for the building's former tenant which closed last June due to financial difficulties. One gets the sense that Cucina Pazzo -- or "crazy kitchen" -- kept these details as a way to pay its respects and show a gentleness to the patrons who walk through its doors saying, "We used to be regulars." Like the second wife of a widower, Cucina Pazzo seems to know that while it cannot replace the beloved past, it can create a memorable future.

Follow Cheryl Baehr on Twitter at @CherylABaehr. E-mail the author at Cheryl.Baehr@RiverfrontTimes.com.


Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation