5258 Saint-Laurent. Laurier métro BYOB
RESERVATIONS: 272-5797. HOURS: I I a.m.I I p.m., Mon.Sat. 3 p.m.I I p.m., Sun. NO-SMOKING SECTION: Yes. WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: No. PRICESTABLE D'HÔTE$15.95. CREDIT CARDS: Visa, Amex.
It all sounded so perfect: the ex-owners of Pizzeria Napoletana move south from Little Italy to set up shop in a trendier part of "The Main," and proceed to turn out inspired Southern Italian cuisine for food lovers too busy or lazy to make the trek to Dante St.
Well, the pasta sauces are good, and the bread rolls are warm, but the quality of the pizza crust and toppings simply aren't up to Napoletana standards. We had a very bready, seemingly frozen-crust pizza napoletana, ovcrsalted and with a poor quality parmesan, which was, in short, a disappointment.
We do like the fact that Buona Cucina tries to match the eight original sauces offered (no alfredo or carbonara here) according to the texture of the pasta they pair it with, and we are always impressed with a genuine effort to stock both dried and fresh pasta, but the orecchietti (ear-shaped fresh pasta) had a bizarre, dry granular feel to it last time we visited.
The decor is basic, with light green walls and checkered tablecloths, a bit spartan and a bit too brightly lit, but very clean. Not the most romantic of settings for a tête-à-tête, but the welcome is warm, and their hearts seem to be in the right place.