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Cucina Forte - 23 Reviews - 768 S 8TH St Ste 1, Philadelphia, PA - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (215) 238-0778

Cucina Forte

768 S 8TH St Ste 1
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 238-0778
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Food & Dining , European Restaurants


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We drove to Philadelphia to see the Galileo exhibition at the Franklin Institute, then headed to South Philly for some genuine Italian cooking. At Cucina Forte we found a home aw...


We were a fan of Maria Forte's going back to when she had a restaurant on Passyunk ave. The food has deteriorated considerably at Cucina Forte. We recently took the whole family...

Finally - The real deal. 8/31/2009

We drove to Philadelphia to see the Galileo exhibition at the Franklin Institute, then headed to South Philly for some genuine Italian cooking. At Cucina Forte we found a home away from home. It is the real deal in Italian culture and cuisine. The wait staff warmly welcomed our family, including our young son, even though we did not have a reservation. While the adults enjoyed fresh spinach gnocchi in salsa and grilled bronzino, the kitchen staff delivered our son an off-menu meal of penne in bianco when asked, without a problem. Penne with just a little olive oil and salt, exaclty the way they do it for fussy bambini in Italy. The service was excellent, the atmosphere relaxed and friendly, and the bill was more than reasonable. We are ex-New Yorkers, used to rude service, wait staff that scowl at kids, and steep prices for mediocre food. Cucina Forte is a Philly icon. We recommend it. Pros: Grazie, Cucina Forte! more

Great Italian joint 4/18/2009

We loved this place! Great little italian spot, good ambiance, cozy with great food. Thank you for a good dining experience! Pros: Ambiance, food, service, more

Great food, great atmosphere, great service 4/2/2009

My fiance and I visited Cucina Forte for the first time last night and had an unexpectedly delightful experience. Everything was exquisite, from the delicious home-made bread, to the clams in white wine sauce, linguine with calamari, gnocchi, and chicken. We did not have room for dessert because we wanted to try menu items (all pastas can be ordered in appetizer portions), but will definitely try one next time. They are all home-made as well, so are guaranteed to be delicious. Highly recommended by Philadelphia foodies. Pros: bread, food, byo more

Almost my favorite restaurant 8/18/2008

Ok, the first time I visited Cucina Forte, it was a Friday. Two wonderful women worked the front of the house. They knew everything about the food, made recommendations, and made sure our portions were appropriate. I began telling everyone with a set of ears to go to this place. ?Dream soup, gnocchi, ravioli, and the desserts are to die for!? \r \r Sadly, I went back a month later on a Saturday. This time, there were two men working. One was a super nice guy who made menu suggestions, helped run food, filled our water, etc... This was not our waiter. Our waiter, guy with slicked back wavy hair, was awful. He catered to his regulars only, rushed us through our meals, didn't even look at us while we were ordering, never checked back. I felt uncomfortable even eating there. The food was still amazing, but we were so distracted by the service I didn't enjoy myself at all. 30 minutes into our meal, I grabbed the good waiter and had him open our wine, refill our water. At the end of the meal, I had to alert the good waiter to grab our check and we were on our way. \r \r If Maria were to come out, I would have shared this with her-even if he was her own son. The food is great Maria, but the service was so inconsistent. I would go back. If I walked in to see the one guy working, I would turn around and leave for having a 50% chance of getting him again. \r Pros: The ladies that work the front of the house are amazing!! Cons: One of the two waiters should never work in a restaurant!! more

Do not go here 6/3/2008

We were a fan of Maria Forte's going back to when she had a restaurant on Passyunk ave. The food has deteriorated considerably at Cucina Forte. We recently took the whole family for easter dinner and it was our wortst restaurant experience ever. From food that arrived cold, and half cooked, to a waitress who was hired specifically for that day, it was an ugly performance by the whole staff. I contacted the restaurant after the so called dinner on 2 occasions, and was assured Maria would get back to me. After spending $800 you think she would. I am still waiting for the call. cucina forte will not see us again\r \r arriverderci maria Cons: general lack of caring about customer more

gnocchi to die for 4/22/2008

Went to cucina forte on many recommendations. The gnocchi were fabulous as were the apps. We were going to the theater so we had a early seating. Only one other table was occupied. The rest of our party was running late but we sat anyway. The waiter did not offer water or to open our wine or actually ask us anything. After walking around a moving tables he finally came over and said ""I guess I could open the wine"". We ordered apps and they came out in a timely fashion just as two larger parties entered. This seem to take up all their time and it felt like they actually forgot us. Our meal was served, at least for three people, the fourth was not brought out for some time, also one of the orders had the wrong sauce. We had to finally get the attention of he waiter so we could have coffee and get on our way. Even though the service was just OK the food was great and I would go again. Pros: gnocchi Cons: service, noisy more

Amazing Food, Great Atmosphere! 8/13/2007

I went here for my Birthday dinner this year and couldn't have had a better experience. The people that worked there were all wonderful and very accommodating for 8 people in a small restaurant. And, even more importantly, the food was absolutely amazing! As several other reviewers have said, the gnocci was to die for! You can get it as an appetizer to try or also as an entree. Not to mention, the other food is amazing as well. I would highly reccomend this place to anyone, be it for a group dinner or a romantic night out. Pros: Amazing food, great atmosphere, excellent service. Cons: A bit on the expensive side more

Feel like you're in Italy! 6/19/2007

Excellent food! The gnocchi are to die for and if they have the pasta special that are described as ""little pillows"", you MUST order it! Everything we ate was fantastic and very reasonably priced! I will definitely return. Pros: Food, Service Cons: Can be a little noisy more

best gnocchi! 3/16/2007

Cucina Forte is great! Tiny place, attentive & friendly service. The best gnocchi's! I couldn't decide which to get, spinach or ricotta, so the server suggested I order half & half. Both were delicious and so light! The gorgonzola sauce was good, but very rich! Pros: Food! Cons: City parking more

AMAZING 2/23/2007

This place is simply AMAZING. I have eaten here alot and it is always great. Great service and great atmosphere. more

Right out of little Italy 12/12/2006

This Byob is real Italian cooking with lots of class and love. The owner remembered my boyfriend and I the sec ond time we came in. The food is fresh and delicious, and their gnochi is homemade and out of this world. I've had two shrimp and pasta dishes so far and they were amazing. The music was also very good. more

The Place for Saturday Night Dinner 11/18/2006

A few Saturdays ago I was at Cucina Forte. When we walked in we thought the place was beautiful. We also noticed the music. Where else I thought could you hear Louie Armstrong, Ella Fitzgrald, Frank Sinatra, and Andrea Bocelli. Then came the food. The Lobster Tail was unbelievable along the Gnocchi, we also had the Veal Chop Special. Everything was great. We look forward to our next visit. Pros: Service Cons: Parking more

Amazing Place!!!!!!1 7/21/2006

I have recently visited this rest. on sat 15. It was a gorgeous place with a great touch to it. I came in with my wife and another couple. The service here was outstanding, we were waited on by a young man who was really pleasant and had such a great personality. There was also another gentleman working who randomly stopped by and checked in on us. Anytime we needed anything one of them were there to accomodate our needs. I was quite delighted with how we were taken care of, we felt like we were VIP customers. Now on to the best part the food. We ordered Dream Soup and a dream it was. The mixture of the mushrooms to the bread cubes were extraordinary. We also had pasta for appetizer. I ordered gnocchi and it was just as described by the waiter, unbelievable. my wife ordered the purse pasta and was very pleased with the taste. For dinner I ordered a tilapia, WOW. It was over pasta with a red sauce and i little spice to it. Excelent. My wife and her friend ordered steaks and loved the mixture of the crab meat and cheese over top. It was a little undercooked but still perfect. The best entree that came out was an unbelieveably large veal chop. It was stuffed with cheese and proschute. My friend said it was amazing. It was described as a 16 oz chop, it looked like a 20 oz chop. We had ice cream for dessert and some coffee. All in all our dinner was amazing and will be back many more times in the future and recommend anyone who reads this to as well. Thanks again to the two gentleman and to Mama Maria for the outstanding dinner. Don't eat lunch before this meal it's that good!!!! Pros: Food, Waitstaff, Decor Cons: Was warm, and got wet walking in the door other than that amazing! more

What Happened 12/25/2005

Went here the Sat. after Thanksgiving. Only two other parties. Because they said their phone wasn't working earlier that day. Or, if others had the same bad service as we did, perhaps they're staying away on purpose. The food was OK. Took 2 out-of-towners there because we remembered the food being better. The server forgot to bring one of our appetizers, was unresponsive to requests to open the wine, failed to bring water, and didn't clear away used dishes and bottles, even we put them on another table. We suppose that since it was soo slow that night, the wait staff basically checked out and didn't provide anyone with good service. Pros: gnocchi, proscuitto pasta Cons: service, decor more

TOO LOUD ! 6/21/2003

We were a party of 5 and 2 found fault with their meals both were veal dishes and both were on the bland/over-cooked side. The rest of us who had the fantastic gnocchi or the pasta specials were very happy. The biggest drawback here is the noise level. By the end of the evening (a Friday night) it was almost impossible to hear the person sitting across from you. Dinner for 2 with tip was $72. Remember BYOB and come during the week when youll most likely be able to have a conversation with your dinner guests. Pros: Great Pasta Cons: Noisy more

Varied 5/20/2003

I recently ate here for the second time (in 8 months.) My experience was mixed. The soup special (Maria's Dream Soup) was out of this world. The gorgonzola gnocchi was amazing. Veal medallions were good but not great, somewhat tough and the vegetabels undersooked. teh lobster ravioli was only so-so. the veal saltimbocca was excellent as was the cheesecake that was on the house since our service was so slow (something went wrong with one of the entrees.) Pros: Inexpensive, Some great food, BYO Cons: slow service, mixed quality more

Mediocre 3/5/2003

Nothing exciting, intersting, or good about this place. I dine extensively in the city and there are far better choices. Mediocre at best. more

Maybe the best? 10/10/2002

WOW!! Cucina Forte was worth every penny. We started with prosciutto and melon, which was as good as expected. However, when the rest of our meal arrived we were blown away. Agnolotti pesto with tomato basil sauce was scrumptious and the gnocchi was heavenly. Our visit left our stomaches full and our plates completely clean. I would return in a heartbeat! Please take the time to check this one out!!!! Pros: FOOD, BYOB Cons: Lighting, parking more

Very Tasty Indeed 8/8/2002

We were very much impressed with this Italian BYO. The service was superb and the food even better (thanks Mary). Recommended is the gnocchi which is light and tasty and can be eaten as an appetizer (or main..or both!!). There was a very yummy soup special too and an excellent choice of pasta, meat or fish dishes. An extra touch was to be offered a proper chilled wine cooler in a BYO. We will be back and we certainly recommend others to visit. more

BYOB & A (appetite) 8/4/2002

The staff was great in assisting in organizing a last minute bday surprise group dinner(reasonable prices). The service was excellent and the food was delicious....added bonus was byob. Thanks again Mary for your help in making my brother's b-day a memorable one=:) Pros: BYOB, GREAT FOR GROUPS, GOOD FOR B-DAYS Cons: TOO BRIGHT more
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Menu for Cucina Forte

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Additional information

  • Hours:

    Monday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Tuesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Wednesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Thursday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Friday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Saturday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM Sunday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
  • Payments:

    Diner's Club, Discover, American Express, Cash, Master Card, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    South Philadelphia, Bella Vista/ Southwark