Irvine Spectrum Center’s CUCINA enoteca (949.861.2222) is the sister restaurant to San Diego’s popular CUCINA urbana and it just opened it. They bring California-inspired Italian food, a large wine selection and innovative design. The raw, sustainable, reclaimed local materials gives the décor the comfort of an old rustic country farmhouse, but it also has the feel of a modern kitchen. The restaurant includes a dining room and two oversized patios, a retail wine shop, bar and community seating. Enjoy the flavors and feel of the open kitchen pizza oven, rotisserie, formaggi and salumi display.
Get excited, because this spot is among the first retail wine shop and restaurants-in-one to open in the OC. Purchase hand-selected wines of the Americas and Mediterranean at retail price either to enjoy with your meal or take it to go.
Their inventive menu uses all organic and sustainable foods grown locally and is made up of vasi (mini mason jars filled with creations to be atop Tuscan toast), antipasti, boards, insalate, pizza, pasta, piatti and dolce. The Vasi includes favorites like Gorgonzola Walnut Mousse, Chicken Pate and Burrata. Signature polenta boards is an experience you have to try. Creamy mascarpone polenta is served from individual copper pots tableside with the evening’s ragu. There is also Ricotta Gnudi, Stuffed Squash Blossoms, Veal Piccata, Short Rib Pappardelle and Foraged Mushroom and Truffle Oil Pizza. Children can enjoy the Modo Mia Pizza, a make-your-own-pie experience.
CUCINA enoteca’s bar menu is comprised of specialty cocktails, artisan beers and house-infused liquors including cucumber, mint and lime gin, vanilla bean bourbon, ginger pear vodka and red jalapeño tequila. Wines from an extensive list are offered at retail prices with only a $10 corkage fee.
Lunch and dinner is served from 11 am – 9 pm Sunday-Thursday and 11 am – 11 pm Friday & Saturday.