When I heard about the opening of Cucina Ballerini I was excited. Finally an Italian restaurant which focuses on Sicilian food. I booked a table for my friends and me and looked forward to an interesting evening. And Cucina Ballerini didn’t disappoint. The place is small and tables are placed side by side. So if you want some privacy, this might not be your place. On the other hand the background noise level is way up, so basically you can only talk to your direct neighbor. Despite all of that the evening was a success, not only because of the food, but also due to the hospitality of Riccardo Ballerini and his team.
We started with the antipasti variations for two. If you order that for two beware, you will have had your fill already. We shared it between four people and it was more than enough for everyone to sample the kitchen. Two bruschetta with tomato, two with anchovies, a bowl of tuna tartar with pomegranate seeds, a bowl with fennel and orange salad, Caponata, mussels, and an octopus salad. Except for the tomato bruschetta everything was fabulous. The slice we had tasted of fish and there was just too much garlic on it. That didn’t work for me. But rest was so delicious and we used the accompanying bread to soak up all the juices.
I don’t have any pictures from what the others ate, but I tried every pasta dish which arrived at our table. And all were wonderful. Especially the spaghetti Carbonara, usually just a very rich dish. At Cucina Ballerini the kitchen uses smoked bacon which makes all the difference. I shared a pasta dish which had Bottarga (salted, cured fish roe) in it. My friend need convincing to try it, but it was worth the effort. Such a very lovely dish, quite salty of course, but with a nice crunch. A little bit of parmigiano takes of the salty edge.
Since I am big on sharing we room for another dish. Octopus with Lardo. I think I never had so tender and juicy octopus in my life. I am not sure if that was the Lardo, but octopus can’t get any better than this.
Cucina Ballerini makes you feel like being on vacation, even if it is just for one evening. But we all need that at moment and with its amazing kitchen this restaurant is come to stay. Yours, Pollybert
1170 Wien, Hernalser Hauptstraße 33
Tel: +43 676 7151502
Mon–Thu: 17:00–02:00, Fri-Sat: 17:00–04:00