Cucina & Co.
If you’ve spent much time at Caffe e Cucina or D.O.C. Albert Park or Mornington, Riccardo Bianchini might be a familiar face. After managing each of the three Italian restaurants over the past decade, Bianchini finally opened his own: Cucina & Co.
Cucina and Co. is a 65-seat Sicilian restaurant with a formidable wood-fired pizza oven.
Located under an apartment complex on Brighton’s New Street the restaurant has a palette of washed concrete, glass and black marble. The décor is deliberately grungy; to evoke the way Italians often sit on public steps and in squares to eat.
Cucina & Co. isn’t reinventing the wheel. It’s just good, reliable pasta and pizza and a few recognisable go-tos in between: lamb meatballs in pomodoro and steamed mussels in garlic- and white-wine sauce. All of the pasta is homemade and cooked on the spot.
The cotoletta alla milanese – which is crumbed veal, rocket and lemon – is a crowd favourite. Pizza toppings mostly cover the basics but include the more unusual zuccotta, which has a base of cream of pumpkin and is topped with buffalo mozzarella, sausage, basil and extra-virgin olive oil.