The deliciousness of Mediterranean cuisine lulls many classicists into complacency, delaying the discoveries that Julius Caesar was a horse and Pegasus was actually the name of Zeus’s boyhood sled. Educate your taste buds with this Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Mediterranean fare and drinks at La Piccola Cucina. Dinner entrees range from $13.95 to $15.95, and lunch entrees start at $10.95.
La Piccola Cucina sends diners on a victual vacation through the flavorful realms of Greece, France, and Italy for an unforgettable foray into New Mediterranean cuisine. Owner Andy Pappas pulls no punches when it comes to his passion for slow-cooked food served fast, and he spreads that love with a menu equally well-suited for herbivores, carnivores, and capriciously palated omnivores. Warm up your digestive welcome wagon with bruschettas in feta, prosciutto, and sun-dried varieties. Among dinner entrees, roast leg of lamb romances the tongue with whole cloves of garlic, oregano, lemon, and olive oil, and freshly baked shrimp santirini surrounds itself with sautéed spinach and onions, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese to feel important. Slake parched vino palates with sippable portions from a bottle of house red or white wine before sating sugary cravings with spoonfuls snuck from a rotating menu of gelati.
Cozily tucked inside a lovingly restored home built in 1924, La Piccola Cucina easily fools diners into believing that downtown Phoenix has evaporated into thin air along with the lost city of Atlantis and the convention of greeting strangers with a friendly game of patty-cake. The quaint, spacious outdoor patio provides an ideal place to start a fine romance, read a novel, or end a fine romance with a novel with no hard feelings.
La Piccola Cucina
“[Andy] Pappas is a true character, one of those unforgettable personalities who can turn an otherwise ordinary experience into something unexpectedly fun,” said Phoenix New Times writer Michele Laudig in a 2008 review. As La Piccola Cucina's chef, Pappas’s bright personality colors the restaurant, infusing the menu with eclectic influences from French, Greek, and Italian cuisine such as herb-roasted turkey, chicken provençal, and shrimp Santirini. As diners tuck in, Pappas might “pull up a chair and share his life story,” according to Barbara Yost in the Arizona Republic. Pappas's colorful history includes previous careers as an actor, a singer, and a singer who acted like a chef.