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Thursday, October 20, 2011

DeRushaEats: Tucci Benucch at MOA

DeRushaEats: Tucci Benucch at MOA


I live in Minnesota, am a man, and enjoy going to Mall of America. Deal with it. But finding great food can be a challenge. A lot of the sit-down restaurants are tired concepts coasting on the fact that there’s such a large captive audience.

But lately, I’ve really been enjoying visiting Tucci Benucch. It’s been there for 22 years, and for my money, it’s operating at its best right now. Why? Chef Asher Miller’s specials and his well-trained staff.

A month or so ago I had a glorious sweet corn risotto—the creamy, earthy risotto was enhanced so nicely with perfectly fresh, crisp, and sweet yellow explosions of corn. Last weekend I had an amazing ricotta gnocchi with squash and mushrooms. The gnocchi is handmade, and was really nicely prepared. It had a dash of truffle oil too, and truffle oil makes just about everything better.

I’ll admit, I haven’t gone deeply onto the regular menu, because the Chef’s specials are always so appealing. Miller used to be the chef at Wolfgang Puck’s 20.21, and I’m a fan of his work. He’s getting good experience working for big guns—Tucci Benucch is owned by Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants out of Chicago. They are well-run places, cranking out crowd-pleasing, good food.

I liked (but didn’t love) the thin crust, La Quercia Prosciutto pizza ($13), with grana padano and arugula. The raw arugula is such a strong flavor, and was such a messy topping, it took away from the tasty prosciutto. I do recommend the Beet Salad: roasted beets, candied walnuts, pickled red onions, and local goat cheese for $10. This was a great way to get things started.

Tucci Benucch Pizza  Tucci Benucch Beet Salad

What I love about Tucci Benucch is the service. When I was looking at the wine list, I asked about the Trivento “Amando sur” Malbec. She told me she didn’t love it, and brought me a sample. She was clearly right. I’m not a fan. She recommended the Pennywise Petite Sirah, which turned out to be quite a nice little wine.

The first time we visited, our server was absolutely awesome with my six-year-old son, making him feel like a king. And while great food at Mall of America is important to me, great service after a couple hours riding the rides at Nickelodeon Universe is even more important.

Tucci Benucch
Mall of America
114 West Market, Bloomington

Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2011 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Jul 4, 2013 07:59 pm
 Posted by  pleaseweargloves

I think it's time you made a new review of this place.
Below is my post on the urbanspoon. I didn't go into the poor service as I'm more concerned about the horrendous filth on the tables. FYI, my party and I (total 4 people) were there 15 minutes before we were given menus. Another 10 before we were served water. Meanwhile, our server was yakking it up at the bar with friends.
Here's my review:
PLEASE read this before you dine at Tucci Benucch
I'm alerting the Health Inspectors after my first and LAST dining experience at Tucci Benucch. My table, which was on the "patio", was absolutely disgusting. What looked like YEARS of crumbs, food particles, and God only know what else, was caked in the tabletop grooves . It obviously had never been cleaned... just wiped, which pushes the food into the groove. This layer upon layer of food can only serve to attract roaches, mice and other vermin. With filthy tables like this, I don't even want to think about what the kitchen looks like. I advised the manager of the situation and he offered me coupons... as if I'd ever want to eat there again. If you DO eat at Tucci Benucch, PLEASE check the tables for food that has been embedded in the trough for years. And then RUN.

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TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally bring the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Minnesota Monthly Senior Editor Rachel Hutton, Sustainable Food Correspondent Marie Flanagan, Home Cook Stephanie Meyer, Chef Jason Ross, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

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