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
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Cantinetta Luca - Best Restaurants in Carmel ›
Cantinetta Luca reviews from OpenTable diners
123 reviews since July 3, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (65)neighborhood gem (53)special occasion (42)notable wine list (42)romantic (34)good for groups (26)hot spot (22)kid-friendly (13)vibrant bar scene (13)great for lunch (7)late-night find (7)great for outdoor dining (1)scenic view (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
- OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 10/27/2014Most enjoyable. Always love their pasta dishes and salumi plate.Special Features:
- Tablecloths?OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 10/25/2014Add white linen tablecloths and your done. Turns the atmosphere to 5 stars.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- House made pancettaOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/24/2014Food here was so good! Right down to the bread sticks! In most cases though, tables very close together; almost feels like communal dining.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- CAHANSONDined on 10/23/2014We always enjoy Cantinetta Luca, great food and service. A very friendly atmosphere and great staff.Special Features:
- Come for the food!tennisman35Dined on 10/17/2014The food is the main attraction at Cantinetta Luca; certainly not the ambiance as the restaurant is very noisy and makes conversation difficult. The tables are close together and you could readily sample things on the tables nearby. However, the food is excellent, which is the reason for eating here in the first place. The specials are always interesting and well-prepared; if a bit pricey. The service was very good and our server responded well to our requests for pacing the meal. Overall, this is a good place for dining.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A winner.SunriverSteveDined on 10/10/2014Great food, good service. Very busy and quite noisy but excellent food and service make this place very worthwhile.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- JumFDined on 10/10/2014Have been dining at Luca for years. Never disappointed. Did a great job celebrating my friend's birthday too.Special Features:
- TravelcoupleDined on 9/29/2014Good food. Great wine. But they charged the price of a bottle for two glasses of sparkling wine. Unfair.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Needs RefresherrudyVIPDined on 9/29/2014The menu is old for those of us that frequent. The special, Puttanesca, was fantastic ( ordered with no shrimp). The caprese salad was a huge disppointment- old sliced tomato with spots, jagged cut cheese, NO salt or vinegar. Looked and tasted like a salad I would throw together at home. The back room is way too loud. Can't hear each other speak. My kids love the pizza. The wait staff are friendly, but appear rushed. They don't really check back to see if all is well. For the prices, we expect better.Special Features:
- Great spot in CarmelLatravaDined on 9/28/2014Went to dinner with a friend on a Sunday early evening. Easy to get reservations for that day and time but this restaurant is often packed, so plan ahead expecially on a weekend. Interesting and different specials and good food. Service was outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent, unique wine list.SusanDined on 9/27/2014With a sommelier to help and reasonable prices. Fabulous finishes on the decor. Traditional food served with a twist.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not The BestSiciliaDined on 9/26/2014I always look for ward to dine at Luca but not this time. The food was just ok not up to its usual standards. Had given a gift certificate to a friend for a special birthday and we were asked to join he and his wife for dinner since they had never been to the restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointingFoodieDined on 9/24/2014Had dined here before with friends. Somehow our order for dinner became lost "technical glitch" and we waited over an hour for the food. The waiter took the cost of the appetizers off but it made the evening far too long. Food, when it came, was just mediocre instead of being good.Special Features:
- It didn't happenTravelloverDined on 9/22/2014I made a reservation for 8:30 p.m but since I was in front of the restaurant at 4 P.M and met a message fixed at its door warning that in that day the restaurant would be closed , me and my husband decided to confirm it. Even though the doors of Cantinetta Luca were closed, there was a man and a woman working inside the restaurant. We kindly knocked at the door and both seemed to ignore us. As we insisted, the man stared at us and we asked if the restaurant would open. He just gesticulated very unkindly and we decided not to come back. Not that day nor never.
- Carmel gemPatrVIPDined on 9/17/2014We always enjoy visiting Luca....a special place with superb food and attentive staff!Special Features:
- 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!PrettyInPinkDined 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: