February 11, 2014

Cucina Pazzo Picks Up Where Duff's Left Off in The Central West End

Though it serves classic Italian fare, executive chef Justin Haifley (a 2013 nominee for Food & Wine magazine’s the People’s Best New Chef: Midwest) cannot resist using rustic American influences in his menu. Nowhere is that more evident than on the three different pork appetizers we tried. The pork rillettes — a pork-belly confit — was a succulent spread served on crostini like an Italian open-face pulled-pork sandwich. Its piquant jalapeño honey mustard and pickled red onion provided a nice contrast to the meat’s richness.

Keep reading: Cheryl Baehr's review of Cucina Pazzo.

Photos by Jennifer Silverberg for the Riverfront Times.
Scroll down to view images

Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future. Join the Riverfront Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month

"Mortadella Corndogs" are made with moretti beer Cheese, jalapeno honey mustard and a basil-fennel salad.
"Mortadella Corndogs" are made with moretti beer Cheese, jalapeno honey mustard and a basil-fennel salad.
Outside Cucina Pazzo.
Outside Cucina Pazzo.
Caprese toast is made with buratta, sun gold tomato, basil, onion and balsamic vinegar.
Caprese toast is made with buratta, sun gold tomato, basil, onion and balsamic vinegar.
Owner and executive chef, Justin Haifley.
Owner and executive chef, Justin Haifley.
"Mortadella Corndogs" are made with moretti beer Cheese, jalapeno honey mustard and a basil-fennel salad.
"Mortadella Corndogs" are made with moretti beer Cheese, jalapeno honey mustard and a basil-fennel salad.
The "Linguini with Shrimp & Clams" is made with soppressata and hot chile flakes.
The "Linguini with Shrimp & Clams" is made with soppressata and hot chile flakes.
Cucina Pazzo's dining room.
Cucina Pazzo's dining room.
A baked pasta.
A baked pasta.
Cucina Pazzo's dining room.
Cucina Pazzo's dining room.
The chocolate Nutella souffle is made with stracciatella gelato and chocolate-covered espresso beans.
The chocolate Nutella souffle is made with stracciatella gelato and chocolate-covered espresso beans.