La Cucina Sul Mare
One of Falmouth’s best kept secrets, La Cucina Sul Mare is a family-owned restaurant that will surely exceed your expectations. On a warm summer evening, my guest and I arrived at La Cucina Sul Mare where we were greeted by a friendly hostess who directed us to a nice table by the window where we could watch families stroll along the tree-lined street .
To start the meal our waitress brought over a basket of crusty bread and a small dish of pureed roasted garlic and olive oil to dip the bread into while we looked over the menu and extensive wine list. Being a garlic lover, I couldn’t get enough of this homemade treat, but I knew I had to save room for my main entreé.
Chef/Owner Mark Cilfone has perfected his menu with a wide variety of dishes to choose from ranging from classic Italian staples like Lasagna ($20.99) and Chicken Parmesan ($21.99) to La Cucina specialties like their Sweet Potato Crusted Cod ($26.99). I knew it was going to be hard to pick just one thing. My guest and I started with the Bruschetta appetizer ($11.99). I was expecting small rounds of Italian bread topped with diced tomatoes and a sprinkle of cheese. I was pleasantly surprised when we were served two large slices of bread brushed with homemade pesto oil and covered with thick slices of fresh, vine ripened tomatoes and melted mozzarella cheese. The bruschetta was served on a bed of mixed greens finished with a drizzle of balsamic reduction. This was by far the best bruschetta I have ever had and would highly recommend it to anyone.
For my entrée, I ordered my favorite Italian classic—Marsala. The menu gives you the option of chicken or veal for many of their traditional Italian dishes. I opted for the Chicken Marsala ($22.99). I was served two chicken breasts that had been floured and sautéed with shallots, mushrooms, and marsala wine over a bed of angel hair pasta. The chicken was moist and tender and the sauce wasn’t too sweet and didn’t overpower the earthy flavor of the mushrooms. The pasta was cooked to perfection and the steamed asparagus added the perfect crunch.
My guest ordered the Chicken Limone ($22.99). It was a similar dish of sautéed chicken over angel hair pasta, but it was finished with a white wine, capers, and lemon butter sauce. The lemon flavor was bright and citrus-y. The portions were big enough to take some home for a meal later in the week.
The restaurant was starting to fill up as we were finishing our meal so we decided to move to the bar to enjoy dessert. Last September, Mark and Cynthia expanded the restaurant into the old Bojangles storefront to include a dozen or more tables and a 20-seat bar. We decided to share a homemade cannoli ($6.95) for dessert. The crunchy cannoli shell was filled with a creamy ricotta filling, drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with fresh strawberries on the side.
The bartenders were attentive and friendly. They knew their customers by name and struck up a conversation with us while we ate our dessert and enjoyed a glass of wine.
If you are looking for the perfect place for a date night, a girls night out, a fun family dinner, or just for an impeccable Italian meal, take a stroll down Main Street in Falmouth and visit La Cucina Sul Mare. You won’t be disappointed!
–– Jennifer Dow