Food & Drink

Straight-ahead Italian food from a straight-ahead Italian

Moving to America can be tough: you have to overcome language barriers, learn to assimilate into an often-confusing culture, and deal with the fact Mark Linn-Baker never wants to do the dance of joy with you, though what do you expect from a Perfect Stranger? For re-dicu-lously good Italian food from a recent immigrant, check out Mucca.

From a boot-gent who "arrived in the US with $1800, a gym bag, and no English" (pretty much ensuring he'd never be a pro billiards player), Mucca's an airy, split-level, MAX-side, mid-swank riff on a comfort food-slinging osteria, with a wall of windows illuminating an open kitchen preparing loads of fresh pasta & seriously sauced meats for both lunch and dinner. They’re all about carbs prepared in-house daily, from gnocchi (the product of a 3-month search for the correct flour and Russet potatoes) paired with bright tomato and basil, to roasted cherry tomatoes and creamy American burrata tossed with a randomly hacked pasta called Maltagliati, or "badly cut", so expect its mom to call the JV soccer coach with a choice word or two. Beyond the noodle, Mucca rocks a seared wild duck, whose panned fat becomes the base for a balsamic and honey sauce; locally produced filet with a full-flavored Barolo sauce; and scallops in a truffle/Parm fondue that takes four hours to prep, as it's exceedingly difficult to fit fondue into lax shorts and flip flops.

Because they're not going to let all that sauce go to waste, Mucca wants you to sop happily with their housemade bread, a dense loaf created with water augmented with fermenting raisins, whose liquid form could have even Cousin Larry doing the dance of joy.