CUCINA Enoteca, Irvine

Want to get a little taste of Italy in the OC? Try CUCINA enoteca next time you’re shopping in the Irvine Spectrum.  Located less than a minute off the 405 freeway this new Italian classic is both a blend of old and new with their style and cuisine. Irvine Spectrum patrons now can enjoy tastes of Italian Classic dishes as well as modern trending favorites. A sister location to CUCINA urbana; CUCINA enoteca is a fast riser in the South Orange County area. As soon as you walk in you can’t help but notice the two large patios that are packed with people enjoying house infused cocktails as well a very diverse menu by Chef Joe Magnanelli.  Once seated at your table you immediately notice the interesting décor which is a combination of rustic and modern, paired with wine bottles stocked to the ceiling in the CUCINA’s wine shop and an inspiring, open kitchen.

Looking at the specialty cocktail list we had to try some of the house infused favorites recommended by our server. We started off with the Amarena Cherry Vodka Cocktail and a Cucumber Blossom; both hit the spot perfectly. We noticed there were some unique appetizers that were catching our eye and we just had to give them a try.  First we ordered the Tuna Conserva + Cannellini Bean + Lemon Aioli, coupled with the Burrata + Roasted Garlic Confit. A salad we just couldn’t pass up trying was the Candy Striped Baby Beet with Tempura Avocado.

The meal was off to a great start.  Next we ordered the Grilled Mediterranean Octopus which we heard was Chef Magnanelli’s favorite dish. For entrees we chose to go with the Summer Squash Risotto along with the Short Rib Pappardelle. Both were fantastic.

Get to know CUCINA enoteca:

– Whether dining traditionally or family style most dishes are below $20

-The establishment offers an extensive wine list with retail priced wines which are also available for sale in CUCINA’s wine shop

-Specials are available daily; try Meatball Mondays, Formaggi Fridays and Sinful Sundays

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