First timer at Cucina Enoteca
My wife and I had a wonderful experience at Cucina Enoteca with some friends of ours. Every dish that came out was wonderfully tasty and solid portion sizes. We shared the burrata and the market chopped salad, both were superb...especially the burrata which was so fresh. We also shared the family size bucatini which was so delicious and flavorful. My wife had the meatball pizza, wood fired to perfection with cheese that was so savory. The drinks were great and service was delightful. We really enjoyed this restaurant.
6/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love the patio at Cucina Enoteca
Took an out of town friend here for dinner one evening, and it was a perfect night to sit on the patio.
I had the octopus, which has been one of my favorites.
The Happy Hour red wine was good quality, and the server quickly brought me another glass when I
accidentally knocked mine over. Very nice.
See you again soon!
6/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
a good choice
we have dined here several times. the best part of the experience is the friendly and informed staff as well as their wine program. as others have noted, wine prices are high retail + $8 corkage, considerably more reasonable than most restaurants. food is tasty without being extraordinary. i can easily recommend this restaurant and expect to return often in the future.
6/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food, fair service
Repeat visit. Food was great. However lamb meat ball dish only had a few small meat balls. Thought for the price a few more would be appropriate. Service started out great then we would have large gaps of time before waiter would return. Great wine selection and waiter was very helpful in suggesting a nice Italian wine.
7/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Outstanding Food and Service
The food and service was fantastic as always, I've never had anything I didn't like at Cucina. Everything was prepared perfectly and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable.
7/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
My new favorite restaurant! Staff is friendly and professional. Cucina Enoteca is unlike most restaurants. The food is amazing and I love the look of the restaurant.
7/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Food is good, service is good yet there is something else that, in my opinion, makes this place awesome! The way the place is laid out, the funky (in a good way), wine shop, people watching, community tables, big patios and lots of menu options that are not typical pasta offerings. I have been back a few times and recommend you check it out too!
7/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
great food, great service
the food is amazing, always something new to try. the service is amazing as well, both waiters i've had have been friendly and helpful!
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great time and again!
We love this place! Wonderful food and friendly service! We will be back!!
7/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
This restaurant has everything
This restaurant has everything I love - great wines and a staff who know about them, a great menu that's fresh and exciting, and an unpretentious eclectic atmosphere. The fish dishes are exceptional and you can't go wrong with the pizzas. And did I say the wines are great?!
7/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
What a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon. We sat and ordered various menu items and several bottles off the stellar wine menu. Lots to choose from on both. Great service. Nice ambiance, too. You'll love the giant meatball, you cannot go wrong with that.
7/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Dario was our server, and he was amazing!!!! He made the whole afternoon, a day we will not forget! He is attentive, funny, full of stories and guidance....just a gem! Thank you for making our lunch a very special family memory. Oh...and the food was spectacular, too!!!
7/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
This restaurant was one of the best I've been to. Everything flowed well and they provide some of the best service. It's a perfect place to bring a girlfriend or your parents for dinner.
7/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
This place has great italian
This place has great italian food. You have a great selection for appetizers and anti-pastas. I really enjoyed the chicken liver pate but you cant' go wrong with the burrata and the tapenade. The fried squash blossoms are one of my favorites and always surpising to people who never had a squash blossom. I tried the grilled octopus. It wasn't the best I've tried but it still is pretty good if you want to be adventurous. Our party shared candy striped baby beets and did a family style spicy shrimp putenesca they were both delicious. EC is a place great for gatherings that does italian food really well in a very casual and upbeat atmosphere. The ambiance is both good for a romantic night or just to hang out with friends. Highly recomended.
8/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
fabulous wine and food
If you like hearty Northern Italian food full of rustic flavors, and a large great wine selection, this is the place to go. You can do a tasting of selected wines at your table and choose from one of those, or your server is knowledgable to make a suggestion. Bring a fat wallet with you and come hungry. I'll be there again and again.
8/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best Italian Food
I've eaten at Cucina a few times since it opened and I absolutely adore this restaurant. The atmosphere is perfect. The decor is very rustic. The first time I ate here I was with a group of ten. I was prepared for a massive bill considering the impeccable quality of the food but to my surprise the bill was only $130. I usually end up paying that amount at other places for my family of four. I've never eaten inside the restaurant, only outside which is much quieter. I would most definitely recommend this place for a night out with friends or even a family dinner.
8/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
We enjoyed the food and everything. Our waiter knew the menu very well and had an opinion which we like. They also took good care of the table next to us when a dish was served different than the customer expected and replaced it no charge.
All good will go back
8/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
It's a cute, sophisticated
It's a cute, sophisticated and unique spot with incredible food. I had the braised beef pasta which was incredible. My associates ordered the pork chop and went with the fillets and they did not leave a bite on their plates. We started with the Gorgonzola and pear mason jar appetizer with freshly baked breads... delicious. We had several desserts to share and we liked them all but the chocolate one which was very rich at the end of a heavy meal. Normally I am a chocolate nut but it wasn't my favorite. Overall this was an A+ experience and I highly recommend it.
8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Night out with friends
Love the rustic decor of this restaurant. Servers are extremely knowledgeable & friendly and never make you feel rushed. We sat there for hours and enjoyed our wine and outstanding food. The lasagna & lamb meatball is to die for! Love the appetizers (or vasi/boards as they're called on the menu). Great pairings with wine! This is a restaurant we've referred friends to and will continue to frequent ourselves. 5 stars!!!
8/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Cucina's never disappoints. Service is prompt and friendly, and the flavors in each are wonderful. I had the butternut squash risotto which was lovely. The ricotta was perfectly cooked, and you could taste each element like the lemon zest.
My girlfriend and I had the cucumber blossom drink which is not too sweet and refreshing.
Of course the burrata is a must and is always such the right combo with the bread.
8/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
keeps getting better
despite tracy borkum continuing to expand her empire, quality of food/service as not noticeably deteriorated here. excellent staff, including mark the manager, make for a very pleasant dining experience. thankfully(!), due to customer near revolt, they brought back their brussel sprouts dish. they are still as good as ever. only negative: "heirloom" tomato salad is mostly (supermarket) arugula and a few underripe/tasteless tomatoes. regardless, there are plenty of excellent choices on the menu. a wide variety of tastes can all find something to make them happy. the pizzas here keep getting better.
8/31/2013 5:00:00 PM
Our lunch was very enjoyable. The service was excellent and so was the food. We had the tuna and white bean vaci; the tuna wasn't overwhelming and the bread served with it was wonderful. We then shared a couple of wheatberry salads and the goat cheese and eggplant pizza. The only thing that was needed improvement was the chicken we got as an extra in the salad. It was dry. I don't understand why so many places can't make chicken. We will definitely be back.
9/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Everything is Grand
Really excellent food, really excellent staff, decent prices, great location, I recommend it to everyone.
9/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
One for the books!
Great overall experienced in this restaurant. Host could use a little friendly smiles though. They seemed new and unsure of how to work the reservation system and or sitting arrangements .
Overall, great food and ambience. I'll be back again.
9/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great pizza and wine
We ordered an appetizer and two different pizzas. The pizza was outstanding! The waiter was very attentive and extremely knowledgeable about wine, was excellent at offering recommendations for our group's red wine "expert" and for the white, sweet wine tastes for myself and my other friend. It was a great experience! Very cool atmosphere!
9/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
I found Cucina enoteca by searching Irvine Spectrum restaurants. My friend and I wanted Italian food so we met here. What a find - great service, delicious food, and we were encouraged to relax and catch up! Inside is quite noisy (but really lovely), outside we were able to have a conversation without shouting. We will definitely be back and I've already told other friends.
9/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great place to eat
We had a business lunch at Cucina enoteca, the appetizers were really good, and the food was outstanding! We had a good time and would love to go back soon.
9/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
If you haven't been here yet, you really should go. The food is always really good. Cool restaurant with awesome servers.
9/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Say Cheese Board!
I've been here before for a large group social but this was the first sit down dinner with friends and it was amazing! My favorite was a simple cheese and meat board recommended by our friends. The pizza was amazing as well but you got to get it with the egg on it. Our waiter also added perfection to our night as he quickly met all our needs and couldn't have been nicer with the perfect amount of conversation and interaction with us, thank you Benjamin! I will definitely be back!
9/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Had a great birthday dinner here! Although we had a pretty small group they could easily accommodate a nice large party. The decor is so Anthropologie :)
10/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Could be Better
I'm not complaining. Some things on the menu are terrific (Vasi, Pappadalle, Grilled Octopus) and some items are not very good (Lasagna, Zeppoli). I guess the last thing a restaurant wants to hear is their food isn't "so great". But after two visits I'm starting to think that might be the case. Too bad because the place looks great and the "corkage policy" with the enoteca is the best in town. I'll try going again and hope I hit some better tasting items.
10/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
My biggest recommendation is for anyone reading this review is to try this place. Everything is worthy here!
10/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Delicious food and first-class service in a casual setting
Recoomend cheese and salami board, also main courses Jidori chicken and yellow tail tuna
We've been meaning to come here for a while - now we know why it's busy! Will definitely return soon.
10/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
This restaurant has it all-great
This restaurant has it all-great food, exceptional wines (at retail prices!) and fabulous service.
10/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Short ribs pappardelle was great
Outstanding short ribs pappardelle. Also, the risotto was bright and yummy, Enjoyable evening. Attentive service without being rushed. This was a weekday evening. I hear it can get crowded and a bit loud on the weekends, though. Haven eaten here twice and will return again.
10/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great outdoor dining
Hard to find a place as comfortable as this for dining al fresco. Excellent service. Don't miss the brussel sprouts and the short ribs.
10/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great chic Italian joint!
Wonderful ambiance and delicious food and wine. Service was great just due to the heavy volume of guests it can be a little on the slower side and a bit noisy depending on where you sit inside. Patio is always a really nice experience.
10/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
I brought a client for a business
I brought a client for a business dinner and we were both well impressed by the food, wine list, ambiance and staff. Mandy was very helpful and a delight to talk to. Our server (can't remember his name, sorry), was very helpful, knowledgeable and 'present' w/o being annoying. He gave us good insights to the food and it's preparation (which I truly appreciate).
We shared two appetizers (the Grilled Mediterranean Octopus and the Mediterranean Mussels) and for the main course we both had the Fennel Seed Crusted Yellowtail. For dessert he had the three sorbet and gelatos and I had a dark chocolate tart with pistachio gelato... not bad at all!
This was my second time to CE. Overall a great experience and have already recommended.
10/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Always enjoy Cucina Enoteca
We always enjoy dining at Cucina Enoteca. Its always a special occasion request.
10/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
The Food and Service here
The Food and Service here is outstanding! I will definitely be returning here. I enjoyed the ambiance as well, it's very vintage themed and the outside seating is comfortable, warm, and cushioned! Definitely great for groups of people and friendly for birthdays too!
10/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Unique and delicious!
I love Cucina Enoteca, and am trying to explore the entire menu, but I do have my favorites, including the burrata wasi, the farner's chopped salad, and the grilled cheese sandwich, which is both light and outrageously good!
10/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great weekend lunch spot
I had lunch here on Saturday, and everything was great. The server was attentive, and the cocktails and food were unique and delicious. I've eaten inside before, but the patio is definitely the best.
10/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
they mess up the surprise
I had an birthday lunch with 10 people and told the hostess the name of the birthday person is "John" And when they deliver the complimentary dessert they ask who is "Peter" and put down the cake in front of Peter. We just happen to have a person called Peter at the same table but the cake should be for JOHN.
10/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Recommended by a friend and well worth the visit. The food was great, wonderful wine selection and ambiance was terrific.
11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
If you want a place to take someone special or just have delicious Italian food/wine then go to Cucina! You won't be sorry!
11/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
Good food and good company! Server was attentive but a little distracted in the beginning. We had a reservation before 6 PM but the place was hopping!! Recommend you don't "drop in" -- make those reservations! You'll be glad you did!
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great experience - again
Our family loves Cucina Enoteca. We've been there 6-7 times and enjoy trying different appetizers (the cheeses and pates in mason jars are delicious), pizzas, or their homemade infused-liquor drinks. The wine store has a reasonably priced, extensive selection from which to choose; Sunday nights the $8 corkage fee is waived. My husband hasn't looked at the menu since day 1 - he only orders the Short Rib Pappardelle. It is heavenly.
My first disappointment came trying the roasted chicken. The chicken was dry and in need of flavor, the pesto overpowered, and the poached egg was confusing from a flavor or consistency addition.
The downside: reservations are sometimes hard to get. Fortunately there is another location opening soon!!
11/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Took my coworkers here for dinner and they loved it! Happy Hour was until 6pm! We loved the cucumber martini and white wine sangria! As for food, we loved the short rib papparadelle and the margarita pizza. They were savory and delicious! As for desserts, the tiramisu was ok but we did not like the zeppole donuts. Service was great. Overall, a great place for happy hour!
11/25/2013 4:00:00 PM
I drive up from San Diego especially for Cucina Enoteca. I brought a friend who was visiting from the East Coast and wanted to share my special place with her. We enjoyed the brushchetta and squash blossoms for an appetizer. The squash blossoms were an expected favorite. It isn't something is usually order but with the suggestion from our waiter we did. We also really enjoyed the fig dish. We also enjoyed tiramisu! What a lovely way to cap off a delicious meal.
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Cucina Enoteca is "the bomb.com!" We started our gastro-experience with a charred octopus, smothered in a lovely, tangy, blissful, creamy sauce, surrounded by succulent greens. The presentation was exquisite, only to be outdone by the sheer explosion of flavor. Second course, Caesar salad. You may be thinking, how boring, a salad? But fret not, this was no ordinary bed of greens. Imagine a fluffy cloud of ricotta cheese combined with a tangy, yet, sweet drizzle of dressing. Next, truffle, garlic fries, spilling over the bowl, like a mountainous heap of golden nuggets. Yum! Not do be outdone, we savored and delighted in the artisan pizza, with prosciutto and pineapple. OMG! I am having PTSD - post-traumatic-savory-delight!
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM