Cutraro is the owner of Trattoria da Luigi, which opened about three weeks ago at 415 S. Washington in downtown Royal Oak.
"Eating out happens quickly. Dining, on the other hand, is just as much about culture as it is about food — and it takes time," said Cutraro.
Cutraro, who hails from Sicily, is serious about culture. He's just as eager to explain with gusto the history of Mount Etna (Sicily's greatest volcano) or details of his latest phone conversation with his mother, who still lives in Italy, as he is to talk about the menu.
"I will call my mother and say how do you make this? And she'll tell me how to make it for six people and then we have to figure out how to make it for 80 people," he said. "As I get older, little details matter more and more to me, so when I talk to her, I really listen."
Cutratro's rich Sicilian background can be seen and tasted in everything he does. Patch could describe the interior of the restaurant, but we won't. Ask Cutraro about it when you visit and you will get a treat just as delicious as the Semifreddo al Cioccolato on the menu.
The menuSpeaking of the menu, it is not your typical lasagna, ziti and baked pasta, Cutratro said.
Cutraro, who owned Sangria and The Sky Club for 14 years and was Royal Oak's Business of the Year in 2009, is working with Chef Steve Siekierzynski to deliver a menu with a Sicilian twist.
"For example bruschetta — we don't do just a straight up bread with tomatoes," Siekierzynski said. "We do a trio with chopped tomatoes, olive tapenade and caponata."
The menu includes primi (first course) items such as rigatoni topped with grilled eggplant, gnocchi with Italian sausage and spaghetti with capers, anchovies and black olives.
Secondi (second course) items include veal scaloppini with prosciutto, rolled pork cutlet stuffed with fontina cheese and spaghetti with fresh clams, mussels, calamari, scallops and shrimp in olive oil, white wine, garlic and San Marzano tomatoes.
Prices for first course items range from $11 to $15; second course from $15 to $24.
Guests will also find antipasti, salads, pizza (made in a wood burning oven) and dolchi or sweets.
To see a Trattoria da Luigi menu click here.
To see a Trattoria da Luigi wine list click here.
If you go
Where: Trattoria da Luigi, 415 S. Washington Ave.
Sunday: 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Thursday: 4 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Friday: 4 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Saturday: 4 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.