Kim Cafaro-Sales, chef-owner of La Cucina Rosalie, a new pop-up restaurant in Wappingers knows that love is the secret ingredient to any great dish, and it shows in everything she is cooking. “I have passion for food, and I want everyone who tastes what I make to love what they eat. I don’t ever cut corners or rush anything. I make sure each dish gets the love it deserves, “ Kim explained. And as someone who grew up in her parent’s restaurants, she always dreamed of owning one of her own. Now at La Cucina Rosalie, she is delivering real deal Sicilian from old family recipes that she has gathered over the years.
Like for many of us 2020 did not come easily for Kim and her husband Lou. In March, due to the pandemic, Kim lost her sister to COVID, and shortly after lost her job as an area manager for a large restaurant chain. This was a job she had held for 15 years. Not knowing what to do next she looked for something that would lift her up. For her, that was finding a way to make other people happy and she knew she could do it through food. It was then she knew it was time to follower her dream.
After finding the perfect spot, and on the day of signing a lease, the deal fell through. High and dry and not know what to do, Kim heard of a commissary kitchen that was available in Wappingers. Without hesitation they moved in and opened La Cucina Rosalie, an Italian pop-up serving curbside pick-up and delivery, where they are drawing a loyal following.
We were invited to come try their menu, we couldn't resist. Kim is cooking traditional Sicilian, so we started with their "famous" rice balls, or “Arancini di Riso”. These are very special to Kim as she is using her grandmother’s secret recipe. The Arancini have a crispy exterior and are stuffed with meat, raisins, pine nuts and peas--giving them a nice sweetness. I can see why they are so popular.
One of my favorite appetizers is always fried artichoke hearts. La Cucina Rosalie serves theirs with a garlic aioli sauce. The breadcrumbs are homemade, so they are flavorful and enhance anything they are with. The artichokes are tender and crisp, the garlic aioli creamy and rich. They are the perfect complements to each other and hard to stop eating.
I love good prosciutto, so I had to try on of the panini with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers and arugula. Believe me it did not disappoint. It is made with generous amounts of meat and cheese and served on a crispy, pressed, ciabatta roll with a garlic basil aioli. I would eat this everyday if I could.
I have to say, the eggplant rollatini was one of the best I have had to date, besides my own. The eggplant was nice and thin, and the filling of ricotta, mozzarella and basil was so creamy. It was lightly topped with a nice plum marinara sauce, one of the three traditional red sauces she makes. It is then topped with a little more mozzarella. I think the picture below says it all.
Lastly, if you are a chicken Francese fan, this one is for you. The chicken is pounded thin, egg battered, and pan fried, which makes all the difference. I enjoy the fact that the chicken came with linguine and that there was plenty of the Francese sauce for them both!
La Cucina Rosalie is open for curbside pick-up or delivery Thursdays-Mondays from 11am to 8pm. They also offer ½ and full trays of all their specialties. Kim and Lou are wonderful and caring people and they only want to make sure that everyone is happy. All the food is made fresh and with lots of love. My suggestion--don’t cook tonight. Give them a call.
La Cucina Rosalie
2660 East Main Street Wappingers Falls NY 12590 Order Online or Call: 845-235-6884