Dolores St. between Ocean and 7th
Carmel, CA 93921Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.cantinettaluca.com/
- Phone: 8316256500
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday from 5 to 9 pm, Friday - Saturday from 5 to 9:30 pm | Lunch: Saturday - Sunday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Steak, Italian, Pizzeria
- Executive Chef: Jason Balestrieri
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: Please e-mail us with your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Private Party Facilities: Wine Room: Beautiful Brick Ceiling Dining Room that can accommodate up to 45 guests.
- Private Party Contact: Amanda Gospodnetich 8316256500
- Special Events: Please e-mail us with your inquiries to email@example.com
A word from Cantinetta Luca
The menu offers casual dining, featuring items such as delicious pizza, baked in an authentic, Italian, no gas, wood-burning pizza oven. Luca also specializes in antipasti, a dozen or so varieties of salumis and handmade pasta. Whole fish and roasted meats are served family style. All of the presentations are simple and rustic; food prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients to bring out bold flavors. The executive chef is Jason Balestrieri who worked under Joachim Splichal at Patina, the famed Los Angeles restaurant. The interior decor of Cantinetta Luca is antique/modern, inspired by the old refurbished buildings of Italy. The design is a blend of stone, brick and glass, chiseled wood and bright Italian colors. The decor features a barrel vaulted ceiling, brick and chiseled beams contrasted by superb contemporary furnishings and modern lighting all set off by rich colors and textures.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Cantinetta Luca reviews from OpenTable diners
110 reviews since May 24, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (52)neighborhood gem (52)notable wine list (36)special occasion (32)romantic (31)hot spot (20)good for groups (18)kid-friendly (11)vibrant bar scene (11)great for lunch (8)late-night find (6)great for outdoor dining (1)scenic view (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
- Fellinni says YESHaroldVIPDined on 9/16/2014This is a wonderful Warm delicious fresh gracious comfortable experience!! One of the best in Carmel! Fellinni would be happy here as it holds imagination and fun and surprise. What a lovely restaurant!!! Its near but not on the more commercial Ocean avenue on a beautiful tree shade street . THE PASTA IS HAND MADE the salads are generous and fresh and sparkling the meat is rich and cooked just right the wines have Great Italian opportunities and the service is kind and talented... It's all good .....Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Odd SeatingFoodieVIPDined on 9/11/2014While the food itself was quite good, Luca has two challenges. The time it took between courses was excessive so the pacing of the meal was off. And we were there when it wasn't very busy, so this was likely a communication challenge between waitperson and kitchen. The second problem is the table setup. The two of us were seated at what I thought was a table for four, only to have another party seated right next to us (even though there were plenty of open tables in the place). The people next to us were so close that there was the occasional bumping, overheard conversations, and shared discussion about how awkward the situation was. Not sure given the setup of the tables that this could even be fixed.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 9/10/2014One of the best restaurants in Carmel. Food and service outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not Blown AwayrudyVIPDined on 9/7/2014We've eaten there several times. The menu has not really changed, except the prices look like they went up? The waiters don't really connnect to us, but are competent. The entrees take too long to come out, with us losing interest in the dining experience. The back room was empty, so it wasn't a matter of a full house. there was a chef cooking on the line, so we forgave this slightly. We only ordered pastas, so not sure why we waited forever. The salad did come quickly. We suggest they add something new to spice the place up. How about a lasagna, basil pesto pasta with pinenutes, canneloni, arrabiata sauce, etc.Special Features:
- Overall experiencetexfoodiesDined on 9/4/2014Lucca host, possibly the manager was very unfriendly. However, our waiter who had just moved to California from Philadelphia was extremely nice. The food was good but not great. I got the impression that they were known more for their pizzas. I got the salmon, and my husband got the prawns. For the price I wouldn't go back. A little too pretentious for our taste.Special Features:
- wonderful family diningMiswuVIPDined on 8/31/2014Great ambience for family dining. Firendly service with authentic italian cusine. Inhouse Salami room was wonderful. Will definitely return.Special Features:
- Favorite Spot in CarmelCLGCAVIPDined on 8/29/2014This is our favorite spot in Carmel - they have pizza and pasta for the kids yet more sophisticated offerings for adult palates and delicious wine choices. The pasta is unbelievably delicious! Friendly and courteous service always.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- nonameVIPDined on 8/28/2014We have dined at CL a few times and did not feel it was as good as previously. Everything was ok but not great. The pasta could have been hotter, but did not send it back. It is nice that they have such an extensive wine list of exclusively Italian wine but this is California. It would seem reasonable to have a few local Monterey Peninsula wines available.I would recommend this to a friend.
- AverageSoonDined on 8/28/2014Speghetti pasta was nothing special, lacking in flavor, it almost had a hint of bubble gum flavor. Meatball appetizer and salami were good. Tiramisu and gelato ice cream delicious. It seemed like the desserts were larger portions then main course. Overall, average but friendly hostess and wait staffSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Senior CoupleRayGDined on 8/27/2014We thought the corkage fee of $25 was a little much even for Carmel.
- Changing ThingsAzGuyDined on 8/24/2014We've always enjoyed Cantinetta Luca in the past. Spending month in Carmel each year it was a go to place 2x week. We expect the loud atmosphere but the changes seem to be in a shortened menu and a drop in food quality and service. Since we started our visit after the Concourse it was not crowded bit yet those 2 factors turned us off. From loving a place to tolerating it was a downer.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently goodLuluDined on 8/23/2014I am always pleased with the quality of the food and service. My party enjoyed the delicious Tbone steak--large enough for 2 to share.
- Great place! Quiet night ruinedChuckDined on 8/20/2014Overall the food, service and decor were wonderful, but as frequently can be the case a group of 10 forgot they weren't alone in the restaurant and were carrying on. So much so, that I had trouble talking with my wife across the table. The couple next to them was invisible to their cackling and probably should have been reseated. I would recommended the restaurant to anyone, but if I want quiet I would try to sit up front.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cantinetta LucaMegCVIPDined on 8/18/2014Although the food was very good, the hostess on Monday night was so snippy that it took away from the experience. I asked for a high top table and she curtly responded that there was a request for that table. She knew we were not happy with the table that she sat us at which was right next to her stand. Another high top table opened and instead of coming to ask us if we would like it, she gave it to two women who walked in without a reservation.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SusetteDined on 8/17/2014Our meals were excellent, service ok? No bread was offered and the meal was slow, but worth whileSpecial Features:
- Luca - Very Good but NoisyEDBPAVIPDined on 8/17/2014Four of us had dinner at Luca on a Sunday night recently. We were seated in the back room. The food and service were very good, but the noise level detracted considerably from the dining experience. We could hardly hear each other speak during the meal, and this became much worse as the room filled with diners. My friends were put off by the excessive noise to the point of saying they would not return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great fun, delicious foodAbuelitaLDined on 8/15/2014Good attention from staff, good help in choosing wine, lively atmosphere, terrific dinnerSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service MissFoodIndustryProVIPDined on 8/13/2014Service is usually adequate at this place, but on this night it seemed like they were possibly short staffed and / or inexperienced staff. Food was OK though.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/12/2014Was so good that we can't wait to go back . my husband love that thing were made fresh.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, only Italian winesWhity3Dined on 8/9/2014We thoroughly enjoyed the dinner once it came. We sat down for 15 minutes before we were greeted. When we were greeted without water by our server he rushed through the specials to the point my fiance and I were unsure of what he said and said he would be back....15 minutes later another amazing server who used to serve us at the sister restaurant Aubergine helped us. He was amazing and made up for the other server. We were ready to walk out but he made it better. Still a very busy restaurant and they have too many tables so the quality of service lacks. No waiting area so people crowd you if you are seated at the front and the tables are VERY VERY close together. No intimate conversations here.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Favorite!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/9/2014Best Italian in Carmel these days! Casanova is wonderful, but Cantinetta is amazing! Get a meat/cheese selection as your deciding on dinner. We like to order family style.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not what I expectedCbellaVIPDined on 8/8/2014One thing that drew me to the restaurant was what I thought would be the option to order steak by the ounce. Not so, they have pre-determined sizes of the steak- 24, 26, or 28 - which are not actually posted on the menu but they have the price per ounce of 2.80. It is a bit deceptive. Would be better to just say that a ny strip is $56. On top of it after we had our heart set on steak and decided to go for it, the steak we were served was not that tender. My guess is that we should have opted for a pizza or pasta!
- Food for a romantic dinnerMariKDined on 8/7/2014Try the pastas, they are fresh made and delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very nice dinnermariocostaDined on 8/6/2014Very nice food, very good service. Ambient is cosy and friendly. The Lamb was very nice, escorted by an awesome polenta. Would come back and recommend.Special Features:
- High Level ItalianrichieDined on 8/6/2014This place is better than an initial read of the menu might suggest. The all-Italian wine list (a brave thing to do in California) is truly exceptional. The warm olice appetizer sounded boring but tasted great. The salumi selection was excellent. The eggplant special app was just OK. Pastas were great, grilled prawns even greater. Service was slow but otherwise very professional and friendly. Overall a very nice casual dining spot doing modern Italian at a high level.Special Features:
- Gets loud but taste greatGemaDined on 8/5/2014The best place in this restaurant is in the back with the wine. The service is ok, sometimes it's hit and miss, but for the most part they do their best to meet your needs. The food is always good, as it keeps me coming back. I always come here when in town and I always recommend it when others are in town.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- mike sWeebeastieDined on 8/2/2014Very authentic italian food. Very good menu with a good variety of choice. Wine list is all italian. They offered great wine advise.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great experienceDBICHONDined on 8/2/2014This was our first visit to Cantinetta Luca though we have eaten next door at their Salumeria many times.The service was extraordinary , polite, efficient and attentive.They gave us the window seat, which was fabulous. Their wines were great , but really expensive.i liked their beet arugula salad but felt it was a bit bland.Their house made gnocchi was lovely, pillowy pasta with fresh corn, squash and pesto.Really delicious.Their Tiramiso was not as good as I had hoped, it needed more Kalua flavors.overall, I would definetly go again and it was a great evening.Special Features:
- Great meal!!Love2eatDined on 7/29/2014We always stop here for dinner when in Carmel! Try the pork meatball appetizer! It is incredible!! We also like the. Name because one if our Golden's is named LUCCA after the walled city in Italy!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExcellentfredhinDined on 7/27/2014Excellent food, excellent service - friendly, professional staff. I don't know Italian wine so asked for recommendation. Excellent choice below the dollar limit I set. Pasta dish was one of best I have had, chicken rosemary was outstanding and the deserts were really good. I highly recommend.Special Features:
- Fabulous AgainrudyVIPDined on 7/27/2014Consistently fresh food. Great service, fun vibe. The chicken is tops, just likr Grandma's.Special Features:
- Delicious Italian in CarmelOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/26/2014This wonderful restaurant was recommended by some friends and it did not disappoint. Fantastic Italian food with excellent service. Hope to return to Carmel again and dine at Luca.Special Features:
- Carmel Gem fit for a foodieGinoVIPDined on 7/26/2014Love Love Love this place!!! The burrata is amazing. I love this place so much I drove all the way from marin county to enjoy a wonderful meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great restaurantFvcastroDined on 7/25/2014Good food, good wine, good service. I recomend! Especially the appetizer "burrata". Delicious!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Italian charmer in CarmeldinerdeliteVIPDined on 7/22/2014We were in Carmel for the Bach Festival and enjoyed a delicious salad, lamb shanks and a side of spinach, all of it very good. We'll be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- return visit disappointingOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 7/19/2014we were there 3.5 years ago and had a wonderful meal. Upon returning we found they must be resting on their laurels. Both pasta dishes were tasteless. I had to ask for olive oil to help separate my cold pasta special which must have been sitting for awhile after it was taken out of the water. My husband's bolognese was tasteless as well. Waiter never asked if we were ok. didn't see him until he wanted us to order more.
- Delicious ItalianJennVIPDined on 7/18/2014We had a wonderful meal on our first night in Carmel. The dining room is bustling and cozy. Our table shared salads, carpaccio and enjoyed traditional bolognese, fish and chicken entrees. Everything was delicious with attentive service. We will definitely be back on our next trip to Carmel. Note: The window booth offers an intimate evening for your table, yet with the nearby energy of the bustling restaurant at ear's distance.Special Features:
- Doesn't live up to reviews.JenandEricDined on 7/16/2014We had eaten here before and saw it's continuous good ratings but were very disappointed. Very poor service. Uninspired food. Good place for kids, of which there were a lot.Special Features:
- Still in LoverudyVIPDined on 7/16/2014Love the tarragon chicken! Luca's ingredients are tops. The bread was served warm, just the way we like it. The heirloom soup needed salt badly, but otherwise was light and clean. The seafood pasta needs some liquid. The pizzas are always delicious. Luca's not inexpensive, just be warned. We used the groupon for 10$ off each.Special Features:
- Nice ambiencecarmelrezDined on 7/11/2014This is a very cute restaurant with quite good food; it's worth a try. The pizza is not as good as other italian restaurants in Carmel but the fish and pasta dishes were very good.Special Features: