We have loved going to Cantinetta Luca whenever in Carmel but not sure it will remain a favorite. Our table was close to the front door on a rainy, blustery night so we got a cold blast whenever the door opened, which was a lot. A family with a baby was seated next to us and one guest was hit with the buggy repeatedly, as well as with an umbrella; the baby cried during part of our dinner, so noise level was not so good. The food was just not quite in the same place as in previous visit. So, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, the play was fine.
Prices were high and food was cold. First, they charge you 2 percent for "back room" tip. Then 3.50 for bread "service". Pasta at my table was warm, not hot - then we heard foursome next to us send their food back because it was so cold. Not just lacking heat, but lacking taste and spice. They even listed one of the salads and a soup as "specials". Wound up here by accident -thought we were booking another Italian restaurant in Carmel. Very disappointing.
This is the first business meal I have hosted here. Service was excellent, not rushing us along but quietly attentive. Food and wine excellent as always. Glad to see the pizza bar open again for dinner. Two of my guests were there for the first time and were very happy with all aspects.
Three out our four dishes were pleasant and for that I’d usually give more stars, but we actually had to send one dish back because it was inedible and the waiter asked for feed back when we returned the item but when we got the final bill, we were still charged for the inedible item. In addition, with much better local restaurants like Il Tegamino and La Balena, I don’t see a reason to ever come back here!!!
My son sent us a gift card for this restaurant, knowing that we were staying in Carmel on our trek down the Pacific Coast Highway. What a find! Everything was delicious, and the service and personnel were amazing.
We ordered a beet salad and warm olives foe appetizers and they were terrific. For the main course we shared their steak, sold by the oz. It was the best beef I have ever had and worth every penny. We accompanied it with their brussel sprouts and pancetta.
This was the best restaurant we experienced on our trip, and I hope we have the opportunity to dine there again!
Creative wonderful food.
Beautiful setting, great charcuterie and cheese, friendly and welcoming service. But in a cantinetta, you expect the pasta to be solid. It was not. Two dishes came to the table barely warm, one we had to send back and it came back only barely better. The filet mignon on the other hand was cooked perfectly and delicious so, a mixed bag.
Not kids friendly. And charging $6.50 for a bottle of sodastream sparkling tap water as if it is Pellegrino is quite bold. Not going back.
wonderful meal...wonderful service...fantastic. Carmel by the sea and an outstanding italian meal, can't be beat.
Fabulous dinner! The chicken and coppa were delicious. Desserts amazing!
Excellent restaurant and extremely tasty food. Went there with my 2 kids and the wife. Nothing was too much trouble.
Went with husband after long day of work and was pleased with the comfort food and portions. My only complaint, from both this visit and my previous visit is the noise level. We were sitting across from each other and could barely communicate - not so relaxing after a long day.
Always a wonderful experience. Excellent food, incredible wine options, and great service. I will continue to frequent Lucas often.
Girls weekend in Carmel, great pizza & wine list. Amazing staff so nice!
Menu was a bit limited and a few faves were missing, but on the upside was able to try something new. Service was not as good as usually is and that was a bit disappointing. Nevertheless, food was yummy, ambience is always lovely. A good time had
Always good & authentic. Our wait staff person was terrific.
Excellent restaurant and service. Quiet fine dinning.
Great food pretty loud fun place
Food was good but overpriced for what you get.
I had a really hard time rating this place, because I really wanted to like it.... my entire party wanted to like it. But the experience was truly “fair”. We dined on a Monday night, so naturally is was dead. Our sever, who never told us her name, greeted our table 7-8 minutes after we seated. I have to say she was truly the opposite of warm and welcoming. The restaurant is on the more authentic side so naturally people will have questions. When we asked about the pasta types her answer was. “They’re all thick pastas.” After prying for more detail she gave us slightly better descriptions. We ordered our drinks, and my boyfriend ordered a bottle of Peroni and never saw the bottle. He prefers the bottle and wasn’t even offered the choice of not having it poured in the glass. After 2 salads dropped, she took our dinner order. We all had pasta and 1 entree meal and it literally took 20-25 minutes with maybe 2 other tables in the place. Our waitress was scarce and I thought the food was just OK. Pasta was definitely homemade, but the meatballs were super dry(we had 3 orders of bucatino and meatballs at the table). She boxed up 2 of our meals, and we were sort of waiting around for them to come back so we could leave. After about 10 minutes, we got up and I asked about them. They were waiting at the front for us, which is great, except no one told us. Also 20% was added to the check(for parties of 5 or more I’m assuming since I also had to put my credit card down for the reservation). Again this is fine, except we didn’t get service that warranted even 18%. We definitely won’t ever come back.
This is our fourth visit. Always good food. Inventive menu items. Service is acceptable. Bread service at $3.50 a person is a bit much. Food quality is top notch.
Amazing service. Awesome food. Great ambiance. My favorite in carmel by the sea.
Excellent food, good service, nice atmosphere.
A favorite place for dinner
Very nice place. Excellent service.
Our entire experience was extremely pleasurable - the food and the server were outstanding
Delicious food, nice ambiance and very friendly and gracious service.
Will go back for sure!!! Grazie!
We love coming here never a bad meal, we wished it was dog friendly but we understand. Have the caccio pepe pasta and it was fabulous!
Would love to give them a higher rating, but several things were disappointing, so we will try someplace else next time. First off, the food, with the exception of the salad, was very good as was the service. The disappointing issues: The $10 field greens salad with Grana Padano was basically a handful of greens with very little dressing and one bite of the cheese. Literally one bite! The wine list was extremely expensive. The section of California red wines was probably 20 or more bottles. Only two bottles were under $70 and all the rest were $100 plus. The final disappointment was upon receiving the bill, I asked what the $2.50 BOH charge was. I was told it was the equivalent of a tip for the people we never see working in the background. We always tip 20% for good service. It is annoying to me that the restaurant sees fit to add a small charge in order to pay their employees better. It seems disingenuous to me for a restaurant owner to not pay their staff according to what they are worth and instead sneak an additional charge on to the bill. Far better in my opinion to increase the menu prices minimally to better compensate their staff.
Just feels like it has slipped. Used to be better. The original Italian owner was a young guy who was very knowledgeable and friendly. Guess he sold the place or is missing in action .
Everything was great. Food was excellent and the setting was beautiful with the barrel ceilings. It didn’t bother us, but it gets very loud due to acoustics. I would recommend this restaurant for very authentic italian food and good cocktails.
Fresh tasting food, great meatballs, salad are large for the value, but pasta dishes slightly overpriced. Wine is way overpriced, and this is really a shame. Cheapest California red wine on the list is $60. This is way overpriced seeing how it is bottle down the street. Overall great experience, but they should consider adding some more affordable CA wines to the list...especially because Carmel is primarily tourists, and we (Californians) should allow our guests to experience great CA wines without paying Times Square style prices.
The food was excellent! We really felt as though we had the best seat in house. The charcuterie was superb. My boyfriend said he had the best steak he'd ever had at Cantinetta Luca. Thank you for a wonderful gourmet experience!
Have been to this restaurant many times. It has changed since my last visit.....menu is much smaller. Choices are limited. Food is good. Service was slow and clumsy....but over all we all had a good time. It is a good value and we will return.
Server was slammed, but did a great job taking care of his tables and communicating effectively the delay. Unfortunately I found a plate chard in my dinner. Birthday celebration went unnoticed. Probably would not go back, nor recommend this place.
Lacks a gluten feee option for pasta and/or pizza.. Filet mignon was dry. Short ribs had very little flavor. Olives, usually served warm/hot were ice cold. The charge for bread “service” at an upscale Italian restaurant was ridiculous. Our waiter, Dominic, and the Sommelier were very knowledgeable and made our dining experience tolerable.
We are long standing customers and have dined here many times as locals to the Peninsula. However, with the current changes in the kitchen and menu, I’m not certain we will return. This is unfortunate as we have always loved CL and have recommended this restaurant to both locals and visitors many times. I will no longer be doing so. Very sad to say goodbye.
Honestly, my husband and I have dined at this restaurant multiple times- making it our go to place when we visit Carmel! So why not choose to spend a romantic Valentine’s dinner date at this place? But honestly, it was one of the worst experiences ever at any restaurant. Our waiter took too long to even send over bread when we placed our order (which they charge for bread) the pasta I ordered was way to dry and too al dente. My husband’s ribeye (which was part of the valentine special) was flavorless and dry. When I ordered a coffee before finishing my dinner so that I could enjoy it with dessert- it never arrived and I had to request to cancel the coffee order since we were ready to get out of there.
I am very disappointed that we did not have a better experience there. It could have just been the hustle of Valentine’s Day, hopefully this was just a one time thing for them.
One of the best dinners I've eaten in years!
This was our third dinner at Luca in the past two months. Every year we go with a party of 6 on the Saturday of A T & T - one of the busiest nights of the year and it is always fantastic. The service was spot on - warm, friendly and professional. Everyone enjoyed their dinner - the favorites included: Grilled Prawns with butter beans, Tagliatelle Bolognese, charred brussels sprouts, and for those who love an amazing steak do not miss the Bistecca Fiorentina!! Also everyone raved about the wood grilled "pizza" bread we ordered with our starters/salads.
Luca is always very good, dependable and the service is always top notch. I take out-of-town guests and family there frequently.
Nice place, the pizzas were great. The beet salad quite bland. Nice atmosphere and friendly waitress as well.