An new Italian cafe called La Piccola Cucina just opened up late last week, and let me tell you, the place is totally adorable.
It's on the east side of 7th Street, just south of Oak -- basically right between Coronado Cafe and MacAlpine's. Along with That's a Wrap, Drip Coffee, Trente-Cinq 35, and Lisa G, 7th Street between McDowell and Thomas has turned into such a nice restaurant row, with a variety of options.
Anyway, La Piccola Cucina is lovely, tucked away in a restored historic house with white ornamental tin ceilings, wooden floors, and a decent-sized front patio. Driving by, you can't miss the big black and white Mokarabia umbrellas.
To eat, there's a selection of paninis, as well as a case full of cooked dishes that can be mixed and matched to create your own dinner platter, from herbed chicken and stuffed pork tenderloin to spinach with chickpeas, pasta primavera, asparagus, and beets. There are also shelves of fresh Italian pastries, and a lavish display of gelato.
Along with espresso, there's a refrigerated case of bottled drinks, including Dry Soda in a flavors such as lemongrass, rhubarb, and lavender. (I recently tried a Dry Soda at Pane Bianco -- it's really refreshing, with seemingly no sugar, and just a hint of crisp flavor.)
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They're still working out their official business hours, but their goal is to stay open from morning 'til midnight. La Piccola Cucina is located at 2241 N. 7th St.