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

Feasting Under the Misters

Here are five suggestions for patio dining in Greater Palm Springs that can be just as enjoyable during triple-digit temperatures thanks to authentic cuisine, cool drinks, and hot times.

A Celebration of Good Taste

Tasters, sippers, and note-takers from around the country converged in March at the fifth annual Food+Wine Festival Palm Desert, presented by the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa.

Palm Springs Restaurant Week Highlights Greater Palm Springs Hotel Restaurants

As the locals rev-up to experience the gustatory glory on offer for 2015 Palm Springs Restaurant Week, don’t forget to consider the incredible restaurants tucked inside the amazing array of hotels in Greater Palm Springs.

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.

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.
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