Mystery Diner

Mystery Diner in Cary: 750° Cucina Rustica offers tasty, upscale Italian

Welcoming environment sets charming tone

Serving up Italian favorites and some less familiar dishes, 750° Cucina Rustica is located at 7 Jandus Road in Cary.

Ideal for a date night or a more upscale family birthday dinner, 750° Cucina Rustica offers elevated Italian food in a charming setting.

It’s perched just across the street from the Cary Metra station. The exterior teases of outdoor dining when the weather warms up, but on the chilly January day we went, the inside was cozy, lit with strung lights, and lined with rustic wood wainscoting.

We chose 750° Cucina Rustica for its seafood selections, and so we started off with the shrimp crab cakes, which were – I’m not exaggerating – divine. What really set them apart was not just the shrimp or the pancetta, but the citrus basil aioli served with it. The bright notes really took this dish to another level.

Other appetizers on the menu included Prince Edward Island mussels with a tomato or garlic white wine sauce ($11.90); scallops Toscana with caramelized fennel, crispy leeks and a lemon butter sauce ($16.90); arancine Siciliane, a crispy saffron risotto with Bolognese, peas, mozzarella and marinara ($8.90); and funghi ripieni, baked mushrooms with Italian sausage, breadcrumbs, balsamic butter sauce and grated Romano ($9.90).

Truly a selection worthy of a return visit where all you order are appetizers!

We shared shrimp crab cakes ($10.9) as an appetizer at 750° Cucina Rustica in Cary.

For our entrees, I chose the risotto capesante ($24.90), prepared with sea scallops, vine-ripened tomatoes, spinach and lemon zest (of which I wanted more). It was savory and filling.

My fellow diner ordered the lobster ravioli ($21.90), which came with a wild-caught lobster and ricotta filling served with a vodka sauce and spinach. The pasta was cooked perfectly, and the ravioli didn’t skimp on the filling.

I had the risotto capesante ($22.90), which came with sea scallops, spinach, vine-ripe tomatoes and lemon zest, at 750° Cucina Rustica in Cary.

If seafood isn’t your thing, 750° Cucina Rustica has plenty of other options.

The selection of baked pastas includes rigatoni quattro formaggi ($17.90) with imported pasta, fontina, grana, provolone, mozzarella and breadcrumbs; orecchiette rustica ($17.90) with imported pasta, pancetta and crumbled Italian sausage in a spicy ragu sauce and topped with grana, mozzarella and breadcrumbs; and penne rosmarino ($17.90) with imported pasta, roasted chicken, smoke prosciutto, peas, cremini mushrooms, rosemary brandy cream sauce and grana and breadcrumbs on top.

There are also traditional pastas like cavatelli with braised pork shoulder ($18.90), and tagliatelle Bolognese ($18.90), as well as 11-or-14-inch, thin-crust pizzas prepared in a brick oven at 750 degrees, the temperature that gives the establishment its name.

My fellow diner had the lobster ravioli ($21.90) at 750° Cucina Rustica in Cary.

The restaurant also offers a selection of other entrees, including pesce blanco ($23.90), a pan-roasted, wild-caught white fish with lemon butter caper sauce, spinach and a citrus zest risotto; filetto al tartufo ($31.90), two 4-ounce prime beef tenderloin with truffle butter, seasonal vegetables and roasted potatoes; and pollo rustica ($18.90), an oven-roasted, bone-in, Amish chicken half in a white wine herb sauce with peas, and served with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Our littlest diner chose the chicken tenders with fries ($7.90). The kids menu, which comes with some crayons, also offers pasta with a choice of sauce ($6.90), cheese pizza ($6.90) and pepperoni or sausage pizza ($7.90).

One of the kids menu selections at 750° Cucina Rustica in Cary was chicken tenders ($7.90).

Cary’s 750° Cucina Rustica was all we had hoped for – with amazing food, a comfortable setting and a welcoming attitude toward children. We’ll definitely be back.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: 750° Cucina Rustica

WHERE: 7 Jandus Road, Cary

PHONE: 847-829-4933

INFORMATION: 750cucinarustica.com