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  • Cantinetta Luca

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Cantinetta Luca
Cantinetta Luca

Cantinetta Luca Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cantinettaluca.com
  • Phone: (831) 625-6500
  • 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: Italian, Steak, 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 events@cantinettaluca.com
  • Private Party Facilities: Wine Room: Beautiful Brick Ceiling Dining Room that can accommodate up to 45 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Amanda Gospodnetich (831) 625-6500
  • Special Events & Promotions: Please e-mail us with your inquiries to events@cantinettaluca.com

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: In the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea, all parking is street access.
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 photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Although 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."
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "Our meals were excellent, service ok? No bread was offered and the meal was slow, but worth while"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Four 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."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Good attention from staff, good help in choosing wine, lively atmosphere, terrific dinner"
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Service 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."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Was so good that we can't wait to go back . my husband love that thing were made fresh."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Best 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."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "One 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!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Try the pastas, they are fresh made and delicious."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Very 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."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "This 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."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "The 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."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "Very authentic italian food. Very good menu with a good variety of choice. Wine list is all italian. They offered great wine advise."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "This 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."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "We 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!!"
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "Excellent 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."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Consistently fresh food. Great service, fun vibe. The chicken is tops, just likr Grandma's."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "This 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."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Love 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."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Good food, good wine, good service. I recomend! Especially the appetizer "burrata". Delicious!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "We 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!"
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "we 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."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Love 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."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "This 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."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "My sauce was a tad too salty, but still savory. The table arrangement was a very tight fit. I love community tables. ...I don't like tables 3 inches from each other. Romantic depending where you sit."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Sat at a cozy hightop for two with views out the window into a pretty little garden. The interior of the restaurant was very inviting and played lovely European music. Enjoyed a fabulous dinner starting with fresh housemade prosciutto, followed by veal, beef and pork taglialtella (seemed like it surely had been simmered for hours), followed by a petite portion of a corn meal (polenta) cake with vanilla bean gelato and blueberries. My dining partner had three scoops of gelato for dessert (pistachio and vanilla bean). Loved the wines-mine was a Puglia Primitivo, his a Tuscan Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Favorite restaurant of our two week trip to California. Would definitely recommend it to anyone for either lunch or dinner. Surperb!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Dear sir/madam This is the best in the world!!! Good food, reasonable price, good hospitality! I'm looking forward to seeing you in October from Japan. Dr.Masashi Saito"
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Food was fresh, pasta cooked perfectly, the Artisan Salume is fantastic, all made in house. Very nice casual modern feel with five star meal."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "$30 for salmon??? Way too high especially when it's good but not great. Pasta dishes were more aptly priced. Dessert was the highlight of the meal. The tiramisu and gelato were both excellent and reasonably priced."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "We went to Luca not once but twice during our stay in Carmel that's how much we loved it. We started with the insalata mista and caprice . Both were fresh from farmers market. The home made pasta melted in your mouth. Wine selection was almost too good -anything you could want they gad. Service was not only fast but knowledgable and sincere. I would go back again and again."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Tables are too close. Food came out cold. Sent back and received it hot and dried out. We had to ask for bread while others received it automatically and we received only 1/3 a loaf. I presume it was leftover from a previous diner. Themanagement avoided us like the plague to discuss my concerns. I doubt we'l return."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Went with a bunch of friends and the table was much too small. Everybody was cramped. Food was OK but the noise was loud and unpleasant"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "I visit Carmel once or twice each year and so have some familiarity with its restaurants. Somehow, I had overlooked Cantinetta Luca in the past. My dinner here was very good, and the overall experience great. I shall certaintly return in the future."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Nice Fresh Pasta and Pizza..Made both adults and kids happy"
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "Very good food - service a little slow with full restaurant"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "This was our first time here and recommened by a family member. It was a special night for 8 adults. 3 folks ordered steaks. One was $78 and the other two were $62 each. The most expensive I have ever paid for but okay. The real issue was we came at 5 pm when they opened to get good service. They took over 1 hour to serve us and said it was the time to cook steaks. I know how long a steak takes to cook and it is not 1 hour. I will never return as the bill was so expensive and very over priced even for Carmel. Go somewhere else or just go and share a pizza."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Unexpected service and food choices. This was certainly a good surprise for our recent visit to Carmel. We found it on the Urban Spoon app and enjoyed the attentive service, friendly casual atmosphere and the food was excellent. We will make this a staple in our Carmel experience !"
    Dined on 5/30/2014