Cucina Casalinga is a hidden Italian gem in Amsterdam Zuid. It’s easy to miss, this small Italian restaurant at the Olympiaplein. But once you’ve been there, I’m sure you wish you’d have found out about them sooner. At Cucina Casalinga you’ll get authentic Italian dishes with a wonderful service. On this blog post I’m telling you all about Cucina Casalinga in Amsterdam.
Cucina Casalinga is a small restaurant, it only has 30 seats. This combined with their friendly service, gives you the feel of a living-room restaurant. You can find it at the Olympiaplein close to the Olympic Stadium and to the Amsterdam Zuid train station. The tram and bus stop conveniently in front of the restaurant. There, tucked away behind olive trees you’ll find Cucina Casalinga. It’s been around for years and I cycled past it many times, never knowing which hidden gem I was missing.
The owner of Cucina Casalinga in Amsterdam is Giovanni Carmelitano. He himself was born in Rome and his mother was from Puglia, the ‘heel of the booth’. On the menu you’ll see both influences. Many dishes that are served at Cucina Casalinga are inspired by what they call ‘Cucina Povera’: poor men’s food. These dishes are comforting with a few ingredients that are high in flavor. You don’t have to feel like a poor man when eating at Casalinga as the portions are generous and the wines are aplenty. As a matter of fact they have a wine list with over 100 wines. Which is very extensive considering the small size of the restaurant.
You can start your lunch or dinner at Cucina Casalinga with a glass of Franciaforte. It’s the Italian version of Champagne, it’s less sour than Prosecco and a perfect start to your meal. We started with the most delicious burrata I’ve ever tasted. It was incredibly creamy. The dish didn’t need much more, as the burrata was so flavorful. It was served with flatbread flakes, several preparations of beet, grilled peach and a peach dressing on the side.
After that we had a deconstructed Bloody Mary with blanched tomatoes, an ice cube, a tomato cocktail and a cream of Jerusalem artichoke.
The next dish of our menu was a cream of chickpeas served with pickled tomatoes, fresh croutons and puffed black rice. It almost looks like a soup on the picture but it was more thick and creamy. And their home-made croutons where delicious!
After that we continued with risotto. I always love a good risotto but it’s often not that photogenic. But as you can see, the risotto with red beets, blue cheese and summer truffle is a beauty. Cucina Casalinga is specialized in truffles. They get beautiful truffles that are different every season. They get many of their products from the South of Italy so that they can guarantee the quality.
The last savory dish of our menu was this Melanzane. It’s an aubergine stuffed with mozzarella. The aubergine is first hollowed out and then its own pulp is flavored and put back into the aubergine. Smoked mozzarella and Regiano Parmesan cheese give the dish a bite.
After all this delicious food and matching wines I was quite satisfied. But I always have room for something sweet after my meal. Cucina Casalinga served the perfect dessert for me. This goat’s yogurt with a pickled peach underneath and crumble and edible flowers on top was the perfect sweet yet light dessert to complete our meal.
It’s a shame that not many people know about Cucina Casalinga as the food is amazing and the service is incredible. Lucky for your, you now know your way to this hidden gem in Amsterdam Zuid.