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Old World Beauty and Early Hollywood in Cambridge

By Elisha Neubauer

In 2001 Cuchi Cuchi opened its doors to welcome the residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts into the beauty that was Old Hollywood. When you dine or drink at this unique eatery you feel as if you're stepping back in time into the glamour, the history, and the glitz of the early 1900's.

Co-owners Fernanda da Silva, Barbara Dollar and Tamara Bourso stumbled upon the space now occupied by Cuchi Cuchi by the 40-foot bar, high ceilings, and the quaint dining area. Using the colors burgundy, mustard yellow, lime green and black, Cuchi Cuchi slowly came to life over six months of renovations. "We wanted to evoke the period of 20's to 40's, of old Hollywood, when people would glam up to go out on the town," explains Tamara Bourso. "Prior to opening in 2001, we collected many lovely decorative pieces like antique light fixtures, wall art, a customized interactive LED light table and the huge, stained glass windows behind the bar."

Even the staff is dressed to impress, explains Bourso. "Our staff, especially the ladies, love the opportunity to wear bustiers, lacy skirts, sparkly jewelry for an evening of fun (we even have a collection of clothing/jewelry for staff to borrow)," she states. "Sometimes even guests arrive with feathers in their hair and long gloves."

But the dazzling décor and glamorous staff aren't the only unique things collecting within the walls of Cuchi Cuchi. "The concept of the CC menu is to travel the globe and feature classic, small dishes with a Cuchi Cuchi twist that can be paired/shared," says Bourso. Meaning, their menu is comprised of small dishes that break the traditional dining mold of ordering appetizer, soup, salad, entrée, dessert. While they are similar in concept to Spanish tapas, the crew of Cuchi Cuchi wants to be very clear that they are NOT actually tapas.

"On our menu and website we caution guests not to call our dishes tapas since we've received harsh criticism by Spaniards saying our food is not Spanish," Bourso tells us. "No, it's not meant to be." She goes on to explain that they are trying to kick-start a new name for these distinctive meal choices. "We are trying to coin the expression 'Straight Up' small plates to imply that the dishes can stand alone since they don't come with a side dish or they can be paired with other dishes."

Cuchi Cuchi couldn't have found a better location for its eclectic style, adding to the exciting ambiance of the experience. "Cuchi Cuchi is a few blocks from MIT and near Massachusetts Ave. where there is a preponderance of businesses/stores/restaurants," details Bourso. "There is a sprinkling of residential apartments in this area but mostly our guests are composed of professionals, academics, students. We also get referrals from the many boutique hotels and guest houses in our area."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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