Bucatini Comes Calling With Italian Expertise

La Quinta restaurant offers extensive menu



Bucatini features a garlic flatbread sprinkled with parsley and melted pecorino Romano cheese.

Lawrence Karol

 

One of my favorite ways to discover a new restaurant is by accident.

And that’s exactly what happened the other night when my friend and I set off to eat at a place that ended up being closed. As it turns out, that was quite fortuitous because right down the block, Bucatini Trattoria was beckoning.

The restaurant, which opened earlier this year, has an extensive menu of pastas, seafood, and chicken dishes, as well as pizzas prepared in a wood-fired brick oven. (Bucatini, by the way, is a thick spaghetti that has a hole running through its center.)

Among the starters is a different take on garlic bread. Instead of the dense bread used by many American-style Italian restaurants, Bucatini features a garlic flatbread sprinkled with parsley and melted pecorino Romano cheese. Bucatini’s manager, Francesca Phchang, also highly recommends the sausage flatbread.

Some great salads are another element that gets things off to a fresh start. I loved the Fresca (pictured right), which has baby mixed greens, shredded fennel, cantaloupe, slivered almonds, and feta cheese all tossed in a poppy seed dressing — and it’s a huge portion that easily serves two.

If you’re looking for a new take on fettuccine Alfredo, try Bucatini’s version with chicken and lemon zest. The lemon shines through in a delightfully subtle way that doesn’t overwhelm the dish, but definitely lifts it above one made with your average Alfredo sauce.

Among the restaurant’s most popular pastas, according to Phchang, are the spaghetti pescatora with shrimp, scallops, salmon, calamari, manila clams, and mussels in a spicy tomato sauce, linguine with fresh manila clams, and the Bucatini cacio and pomodoro featuring tomato basil sauce and pecorino Romano cheese.

If you’ve sometimes found yourself wrestling with whether to get your lasagna with a red sauce or a white sauce, Bucatini has solved your dilemma. Their Lasagna Emiliana is topped with equal amounts of both marinara and béchamel.

“And we use regular pasta sheets alternating with spinach pasta sheets,” says Phchang.

My friend ordered the dish and it looked absolutely beautiful when it arrived at our table — and tasted even better than it looked.

This great food is served up in an airy, industrial loft-like space with exposed duct work running along the ceiling and walls filled with colorful artwork, all of which is for sale, by local La Quinta artist William Cain.

Interestingly, the people in Cain’s paintings don’t have faces. While Phchang didn’t specifically know the artistic intent behind this choice, I loved her interpretation: “It doesn’t matter how you look or where you’re from, it’s how you live."

It was a nice sentiment, and the smile it brought to my face made me think that Bucatini was calling to me long before our accidental meeting.

Bucatini Trattoria, 46-660 Washington St., #8-9, La Quinta, 760-777-9007

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

King's Highway, Amigo Room Partner on New Menus at Ace Hotel & Swim Club

With a focus on fresh, local, organic ingredients and diverse cultural dining traditions from around the world, Jud Mongell and Ken Addington have brought a diner-centric menu to King’s Highway at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs.

La Rue Café Wine Bar Fills That "Go To" Spot in Your Restaurant Choices

La Rue Café Wine Bar in Old Town La Quinta aims to become that “got to” spot during Palm Springs Restaurant Week, which runs May 27 through June 7.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar Becomes Palm Springs' 1st James Beard Award Winner for Design

The rest of the world has taken notice of Workshop Kitchen + Bar after the Palm Springs restaurant has been recently awarded the city's first James Beard award for Outstanding Restaurant Design in the category of over 75 seats.

Guillermo’s Restaurante on El Paseo Makes Mex Like No Other

Guillermo’s Restaurante in Palm Desert has been in business for 11 years, but is new to Restaurant Week, which runs May 29 through June 7 offering diners specially priced menus.

Steak Your Claim

Our overview of great cuts of beef and the great Coachella Valley steakhouses that serve them.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Edit ModuleShow Tags