This past weekend my boyfriend and I used a LivingSocial voucher to try out the Italian restaurant Cucina Di Pesca in the East Village. Â We had some time to kill before our reservation and I remembered reading about a happy hour on the website, so we decided to see what it entailed.
Grabbing a seat at the bar, our bartender explained that the happy hour, which lasted until 8 pm, included two-for-one drinks and appetizers. Â Although the website claims half-priced drinks and appetizers (yes, I know it equals out to the same thing if you do BOGO), we didn’t want to order two appetizers and instead asked if we could do one half-priced app versus two-for-one. Â Unfortunately the rule at the bar was that you had to order two appetizers, so I guess the website was wrong. Oh well, Â it’s not like ordering two appetizers ever ruined anyone’s day.
I ordered a glass of red wine and my boyfriend had a Brooklyn Lager, all for $7. Â For our appetizers we were a bit limited since he doesn’t like seafood (and the name of the restaurant obviously suggests a lot of seafood), so we ordered the spinach salad with blue cheese, apples and walnuts, and the caprese salad (for a total of $8). Â Both were delicious and I commented that I could easily order the spinach salad and add grilled shrimp for a great dinner. I also liked the balsamic vinegar on the caprese, as well as the sun dried tomato bits.
Opposite the bar was a small table with a metal catering dish that caught our eye. We inquired about it and learned that it was filled with mussels in a marinara sauce, complimentary for all guests during happy hour. I helped myself to a few and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially with the bread basket that they served for each patron at the bar (another nice perk).
We eventually moved to our table and ordered another round of drinks, as well as our entrees: the linguine with shrimp and grilled calamari for me (I swapped the garlic and white wine sauce for a fra diavolo sauce) and my boyfriend ordered the pasta special of the day, a tri-colored tortellini dish with grilled chicken, diced tomatoes, and other tasty ingredients. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals and I was particularly impressed that my fra diavolo sauce was actually spicy, too often it tastes just like regular marinara sauce to me.
Our voucher was for $30 worth of food and drink and we originally paid $15 for it, so it equaled out to a free entree. So in the end we got one free drink, one free appetizer, some free mussels and one free entree. Outstanding. And the food and service was good and the place was very cutely decorated and perfect for a date, so we definitely would have been happy with it even without all of these extra perks.
Although the LivingSocial voucher is no longer available for purchase, you can buy a Restaurant.com gift certificate for a little extra savings ($15 for $25, and be sure to use a 70-80% promo code when applicable). Also, for those dining prior to December 24th, you should receive a gift card and from December 25, 2010-January 31, 2011 you can bring it back in and ask the staff to see if you won a prize, ranging from a free beer with your next meal to a $250 gift certificate.The Basics Name: Cucina Di Pesce Location: 87 e. 4th Street Who to Bring: a Date, Family, a Friend Price: Regularly a good value, but you can make it super cheap, $$ Overall: 4.5 Stars, especially with the Happy Hour and voucher!