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“Excellent wine, but my favorite here is their chicken liver paté”
Review of Cucina Enoteca

Cucina Enoteca
Ranked #9 of 758 Restaurants in Irvine
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Across from Edwards Cinema
Description: Irvine’s CUCINA enoteca located at the Irvine Spectrum, one of Orange County’s premier shopping destinations, is a modern Italian kitchen meets charming bohemian eatery. CUCINA’s contemporary Italian cuisine is prepared with a focus on California seasonality + the bounty of local farms. Combined flavors of Italy with the organic freshness of Southern California is emblematic of CUCINA’s from-scratch menus. Standouts include shareable portions of house made pastas, innovative pizzas, cleverly crafted seafood and meat preparations, an elevated selection of antipasti, dolci, and signature cheese + salumi. Seasonal cocktail menus crafted with freshly picked herbs from their own gardens are precise, balanced + direct, combining simple flavors with sophisticated technique. Their NEW wine list amply represents all the benchmark regions labeled as 'Here', 'There' or 'Everywhere' for a delightful + approachable experience. Enjoy it there or take it home from their retail wine + gift shop!
Reviewed October 7, 2018

My wife and I come her for a meal a couple of times a month.
As the name suggests, the wine selection is excellent and there
are many main dishes we like, in particular their branzino and
short rib pappardelle, but my favorite dish is their delicious
chicken liver paté. This is always my first course, and I also
bring one of their take-out jars of it home.

Date of visit: September 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Richard P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 314 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2018 via mobile

I was part of a 20 person group dinner. This restaurant labels itself as an Italian restaurant with California influence. They got the label right. They meal was wonderful. We all started off with a chopped salad and I think they delivered the best chopped salad I have had. There were chunks of prosciutto, cheese that really made this a salad worth mentioning. Our next course was risotto. My wife prepares the best risotto so this was #2. The got the texture and taste perfectly. (I think I have said this line in another if my reviews, but consider the risotto an outstanding choice. I had the skirt steak as my main meal - prepared rare - a very large and perfectly prepared steak. The salmon and rotisserie chicken looked wonderful. I could not finish my meal. I can highly recommend this restaurant.

Date of visit: October 2018
Thank BruceC844
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 5, 2018

Among the best Italian food in LA region. Tried a few appetizers and a Pizza. Everything tasted great. HIGHLY recommend.

Date of visit: June 2018
Thank NoMansPlace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 5, 2018 via mobile

My husband and I chose to have dinner here from the reviews on TripAdvisor. Not sure I will do that again. We wanted to stay close to our hotel after I had a long day traveling to visit my husband who has been working in Irvine for several months. We were looking forward to an evening together as we hardly see each other. We chose as an appetizer the burrata which was delicious (should have ordered 2). We ordered the bucatini (clearly says served with a hen egg) and the special which was a ravioli stuffed with short rib meat. The bucatini was a horrible presentation with the raw, gelatinous egg served on top. I told my husband to push it under the pasta as maybe it would cook some as the pasta was very hot. He just couldn’t eat it...we sent it back. I gave the ravioli, which was quite flavorful, to him. As he was eating he came across something hard in the dish. Turned out to be a small meat bone. Ok...that was enough. Advised our waiter, who then took it to the chef. The chef and/or manager came to our table and was very gracious and apologetic, asking if they could prepare something else as he did not want us to leave hungry. We declined. The entrees were comped. Yet our dining out was ruined. In the grand scheme of things, the entire meal should have been comped. Thankfully no teeth were chipped or broken.

Date of visit: September 2018
Thank enroute18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 13, 2018

I'd been to Cucina Enoteca with friends for lunch and truly enjoyed the patio as well as the absolutely delicious assortment of small plates we shared. So, expecting the same level of excellence, I talked my husband into going for dinner. NOT the same experience! While the service was attentive (they gladly switched us to more comfortable table), and the wine was good, the food fell far short of our expectations. We ordered calamari as an appetizer; it was nothing special, as most calamari is. The braised pork shank that my husband ordered (at $29) was quite fatty, the "honey crisp" apple just a few paper thin slices. The server had suggested the whole roasted branzino (boned sea bass) for me $31). The fleshy fish under the crispy skin was absolutely tasteless and dry despite the drenching I gave it with the roasted lemon on the side. The small roasted potatoes were good as were the few yellow beans scattered around the fish. But, as I looked around and observed that many others were enjoying assortments of small plate appetizers, it occurred to me that perhaps this is the best order option on the menu. Because those appetizers I had for that lunch with friends? The best! Dinner? "Meh." Actually, overpriced "meh."

Date of visit: June 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank armhumber2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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