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

dish Creative Cuisine Opens Doors to its Palm Springs Kitchen During Summer

dish Creative Cuisine's Joane Garcia-Colson and Michelle Heinrich have opened the doors to their Palm Springs restaurant kitchen to invite guests to get to know them and take home cooking tips.

Greater Palm Springs Restaurants That Sizzle all Summer

More restaurants are staying open all summer with savvy offerings that will keep you cool and refreshed as you beat the heat in Greater Palm Springs.

bb's at The River Firmly Plants Local Roots With Summer Prix Fixe Menu

To entice locals into his newest eatery, Jack Srebnik is offering summer diners a trio of reasons to try bb’s at The River, in Rancho Mirage.

Ruth's Chris Steak House 50th Anniversary Dinner - June 11, 2015

Guests and staff watched a special 50th Anniversary video biography of Fertel, known as “the Empress of Steaks,” who opened the first Ruth’s Chris Steak House in New Orleans in 1965.

Ruth's Chris Palm Desert Offers 50th Anniversary Private Dinner Special

Fifty years in business certainly attests to the value of consistent excellence at Ruth’s Chris, which will recognize its golden anniversary with a special dining event on June 11 at the Palm Desert location.
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

Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couples getaway
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