March 13, 2013

Albany: Cugini; restaurant review

antipasto misto at Cugini in Albany, California
80 North


1556 Solano Ave./Peralta St., Albany, (510) 558-9000.  L M-Sat, D daily; $.  No reservations. 

Co-owned by three brothers and a cousin (the restaurant’s name literally means "cousin" in Italian), this popular spot specializes in Sicilian dishes.  The atmosphere is simple but pleasant.  Outstanding choices at Cugini include antipasto misto—a mix of cheese, olives, roasted garlic, pickled peppers, and both roasted and marinated veggies—and thin-crusted pepperoni pizza baked in a wood-burning oven.  The Capricciosa pizza topped with mozzarella, pecorino, artichoke hearts, roasted tomato, garlic, prosciutto, and tomato sauce is also a winner.  I also like the unusual Cucini calzone--a puffed up triangular concoction stuffed with sausage, mozarella, and mushrooms and featuring a delicious chewy dough.  Salads include an insalata finocchio (mixed greens with plenty of shaved fennel plus a delicious dressing), and pastas and risotto are also available, plus don’t overlook the garlic bread and warm olives.  Take-out and The Big Night DVD are a great way to go.  The lunch menu consists of salads and sandwiches plus a few pizzas and pastas.

More things to do in Albany.

More things to do in Berkeley.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
updated 4-26-21

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