Tamara says to Fernanda:

"I believe this would be a perfectly lovely bowl in which to serve one of our 'straight up' dishes!"




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Lounge has got the whole world
by Steve Morse
March 20, 2003

"Cambridge is becoming known for nightspots with a chillout vibe, from Zuzu! and the Enormous Room in Central Square, to the nearby River Gods. These places have all gotten a fair amount of attention, but another spot has often been overlooked. It is Cuchi Cuchi, which is mainly a restaurant, and has become a superb late-night lounge with a relaxed, international spirit.

Enter Cuchi Cuchi later in the night and you're likely to see a blend of ages, genders, and ethnicities from all over the world. Cambridge prides itself on its diversity -- nowhere is that more evident than in this jewel of a hideaway one block from Central Square.

The friendliness starts from the moment you walk in the bar. Hostess Wafaa Samir, from Morocco, is supremely gracious; bartender Bob Hayford takes a break from mixing margaritas and martinis to discuss the exotic CDs played at the bar, from Arabic music to ambient Brit-soul singer Sade. 'We're out of the mainstream here, so we play a bunch of things that you might not hear anywhere else,' says Hayford, who also serves munchies of Asian bar noodles deep-fried with different spices. It's a nice change from the pretzels you might get elsewhere.

The decor is likewise unusual, featuring antiques from around the globe. Stained glass, which was salvaged from a century-old Chicago restaurant, hangs behind the bar. Fringed Victorian lamps, chandeliers and lace curtains dot the room, while a striking, red-flecked kimono hangs from a wall. The floor features a southwestern desert-colored tile, while Old World couches are in two corners of the room.

'We want you to feel as if you've been to another country when you come here,' says co-owner Barbara Dollar. The other owners are Fernanda da Silva, who is of Portuguese descent, and Tamara Bourso, who is of Russian ancestry and also a co-owner of Dali Restaurant in Somerville.

Cuchi Cuchi is ideal for quiet conversation and romantic exploration. And romance is the key word here. This is a couples place, not really a singles place, though things do heat up on weekends when the music gets louder and the vibe gets even sexier than it already is. The phrase Cuchi Cuchi, after all, connotes 'a good time, a sexy time', Dollar says.

I was struck not only by the multiethnic, uptown-dressed crowd, but by the relaxed tone set by all the staff.

'Everyone is very kind here, and kindliness is important in this world today,' says visitor Glenn Martin, who owns the Martin House in Provincetown.

His words ring true."

Cuchi Cuchi
795 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: 617.864.2929     Fax: 617.864.7997