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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CUCHI CUCHI      Simply Marvelous!

"CUCHI CUCHI: whether the name brings to mind the cuchi-cuchi girl, Charo, the 'gitchi, gitchi, ya ya da da' girls of 'Lady Marmalade', or even something less appropriate, it certainly evokes wild, decadent fun. And for those of you who ask 'What's in a name?', Cuchi Cuchi provides the answer: everything.

Entering the restaurant, the costumes were the first thing I noticed. As the employees gaily swept by in satin gowns with fur shawls, ruffled shirts, and vintage pants, I glanced down at my own jeans and turtleneck and considered sweeping myself right back out the door. This was certainly a new side of Cambridge. I felt better upon learning that staffers don't necessarily own the glam wear; they borrow it from the stash of vintage clothing owned by the restaurant. The outfits are finished off with retro jewelry from the famed Cuchi Cuchi vault, and the wearers, both men and women, use the sparkling rhinestones to maximum effect.

The bar - 40 feet long and backed by three stained-glass windows salvaged from an 1890's Chicago establishment - provides the perfect backdrop for this nostalgic glamour. The walls sport numerous artifacts, like the striking museum-quality Kabuki kimono given pride of place near the restaurant's front-facing floor-to-ceiling windows. The room glistens with fringed and beaded lamps, which manage to be at once elegant, kitschy and cool. But what really stands out are the glowing shelves show-casing black-light illuminated plates and glasses. The glassware bears a marked resemblance to the iridescent empty liquor bottles popularized by carnivals and later found in dorm rooms nationwide. This juvenile association at first led me to question the collection's appropriateness for the otherwise cultured decorating scheme. But further investigation revealed that these plates and glasses are actually antiques made of 'Vaseline glass', which contains trace amounts of uranium - hence the glow.

This creative flair carries over into the culinary field with inventive food and drink menus. Dining takes the form of international 'straight-up' small plates (think tapas without the Spanish), with diverse dishes such as roasted acorn squash, grilled Indian lamb, and the garlic shrimp first served at Cuchi Cuchi's parent restaurant, Dali in Somerville. Shots arrive in 'Bottoms Up' glasses, which are reproductions of 1930's-era glasses in explicit female forms. The innuendo doesn't stop there. An extensive cocktail list features drinks like the 'Dirty Little Secret', the 'Sugar Daddy from Miami', and the 'Blue Cuch'. Many of the drinks, such as the strawberry-basil martini, feature hand-muddled fruits and herbs; others are faithful reproductions of old classics. Even the most classic of classics, the dirty martini, is flawlessly prepared. The drink list, like everything else at Cuchi Cuchi, plays with the possibilities suggested by the restaurant's startling name. It's this seamless joining of old and new, classic and funk that makes the place unique."


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