Cucina Chanti Explore Utrecht 5

Cucina Chianti review

It’s a cold december night when we enter Cucina Chanti in West-Utrecht. And as cold as it is outside, that’s how warm the atmosphere is inside.

On the menu you’ll find the true Italian classics and a compact wine menu with a bunch of unexpected names. To leave the chefs some creative space, Cucina Chanti also offers a weekly changing 4-course menu for 25 euros.

Traditional and creative

The more I hear about Cucina Chanti’s mission, the more I understand how they can offer their dishes for such a pleasant price. Back to the tradition of food: what we can make ourselves, we do ourselves and be creative with what others might throw away, waste nothing.

The 4-(5-)course menu

We decide to go for the 4-course menu to see what beauty will appear on our table! But first: wine. If there’s time, the staff will gladly come by your table to let you taste their wines. ‘We can recommend you a wine, but in the end you will have to like it!’ And like it we do. I pick a Chianti: a nice and light wine with a pronounced cherry flavor.

The first (extra!) dish we are served is a bruschetta with tomato, basil, red onion and olive oil. The bread was made with the left over pizza dough and is delicious, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. You can really taste that it’s homemade!

Cucina Chanti Explore Utrecht 2

After this amazing start the second dish arrives: layered eggplant with provolone cheese and egg. A typical Sicillian dish that reminds one of the shutters on the windows of the island and takes about 20 hours to make! So of course it tastes delightful: a combination of creamy flavors with a touch of sour from the dried tomato sauce it’s served with.

As a third dish we get a beautiful plate of risotto made with langoustine broth and an interesting looking sea shell. This turns out to be a Dog Cockle, whose insides have been cut up with parsley and cheese au gratin. The cockle has a meaty texture, which makes it almost unrecognizable as seafood.

And then the main course arrives: a beautiful red piece of flank steak with shaved horseradish and homemade thyme oil, served with roasted cauliflower with anchovy oil. The steak is wonderfully tender and the horseradish is an interesting but delicious addition to the dish.

Shortly after the main course a menacing jar of yellow liquid is hoisted onto our table. This turns out to be homemade limoncello in the making! A mixture of lemon peels of 30 lemons and 2 liters of pure alcohol. After three weeks water will be added and it will be a whopping 7 liters of homemade limoncello!

Sadly this delicious drink wasn’t done yet, so we got served another delicious dessert: caramelized pineapple with cardamom creme and biscotti. A fantastic cherry on top of a delicious menu.

Cucina Chanti Explore Utrecht 6

We finish the evening with a nice cup of tea, before heading out into the cold again to go home. It turns out to be easier than before, with a heart warmed with delicious food and beautiful stories.

Cucina Chanti | H.J. Schimmelplein 1 |

tues – sun: 11.00 – 23.00

Share your love for Utrecht via the Social Media buttons below!

If you want regular updates on what’s going on in Utrecht and opening of new hotspots follow Explore Utrecht on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Explore Utrecht Map offline? Download the Explore Utrecht Appin the App-store.


In collaboration with


About Lisa Peters

Lisa is een freelance content marketing specialist met een gouden pen en een liefde voor Utrecht. Sinds ze in 2009 naar deze prachtige stad is verhuist, heeft ze elke steen omgekeerd en elk hoekje verkend. Een nieuw restaurant of een onontdekt boetiekje, ze zal het ontdekken en ervan genieten. Het enige dat ze stiekem nog mist in Utrecht is een karaoke bar. Ze woont in de buurt van de Amsterdamsestraatweg, waar ze nauwkeurig in de gaten houdt welke interessante nieuwe winkels of restaurants er verschijnen in deze up-and-coming buurt. Ze is dol op het ontdekken van verborgen pareltjes, nu is het tijd om ze te delen met jou!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.