Cucina Enoteca in Irvine Spectrum = Delicious

Cucina Enoteca-009Are you wondering where to go for dinner tonight or this weekend?  Well, I’ve found an absolutely delicious and delightful place.  An Italian kitchen and wine shop; CUCINA enoteca.  Today’s post is about this new Irvine Spectrum restaurant, it would make for a fantastic dinner any night of the week.

Think of a modern Italian kitchen-meets-historic farmhouse with a retail wine shop on the side.  How about that Orange County?  After enjoying a tasty meal with perfectly paired wines, you can buy those lovely bottles at retail prices to take home.  A super cool addition to any home wine collection.  I boldly walked out with no less than 3 bottles the last time I was there.  It was a good night.

Executive Chef Joe Magnanelli’s menu features California-inspired Italian classics. They are prepared with Farm-to-Table and sustainable, whenever possible, ingredients.  I like that, you really can taste the difference.

Cucina Enoteca2 021At the helm of the kitchen, Lauren “Lulu” De Rouen, CUCINA enoteca’s chef de cuisine, adds her own creative touches to the menu.  She draws her inspiration from seasonal ingredients and her roots in French cuisine.  She would do Julia proud with her culinary Ooo La La.

One of her Ooo La La menu items is the Vasi.  A Vasi is a mini mason jars filled with creations to be slathered atop warm rustic bread.  The Gorgonzola Walnut Mousse with Poached Pear is my go-to.  A little slice of heaven friends.  You can also choose Chicken Pate, Burrata with E.V.O.O or any other Chef Specials.  Yes.  I did say Burrata.  To get the word out on the street, CUCINA enoteca’s Burrata is divine. Divine with a capital D.  Are you hungry yet?  Well wait, there is more.

The antipasti, insalate, pizza, pasta, boards, piatti and some mighty fine dolce’s are all highlights of this Italian Kitchen.  Check it out:

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Hold onto your seats for the grand finale:

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SWOON – This is my CUCINA enoteca pick.

  • sicilian cannoli | orange chocolate ricotta crema {By far the best fresh and crispy cannoli I have ever had}
  • bittersweet chocolate budino | cocoa chantilly + salted chocolate cookie {nuf said}
  • zeppole | italian style donut holes vanilla crema + dulce de leche + sugared cinnamon {I’ll take a dozen to go}

Remember when I traveled to Indiana last week?  The truffle mushroom mac + cheese was my CUCINA enoteca Plane Picnic choice.  Next time, along with those zeppole, I plan to include:

Formagi+Salumi: A serving of 4 types of salami, 4 cheeses, persimmon (persimmon, how I love thee – especially roasted), and mustard seed spread made in-house.  Paired with that same warm rustic bread mentioned above.

Such a shame I wouldn’t be able to get the Tiramisu, served in those ingenious mason Jars, through TSA.  I need to consult the management about that.

From 3 to 6 p.m, a daily specials menu is available:

Meatball Monday: Half-price meatballs and meatball pizza

Take-Out Tuesday: 20% discount off a pizza, insalate and bottle of vino

Wild Wednesday: Burger and beer for $14

Thrifty Thursday: 1/2 price on all pizza and 10% off all retail wine purchases

Formaggi + Salumi Friday: 3 for $8, 4 for $11 or 5 for $14

Social Saturday: $5 infusion per person, 1 Social Saturday per table

CUCINA enoteca is way ahead of the game when it comes to social media.  Go like their Facebook page or follow Cucina Enoteca on Twitter to see for yourself.  Each week there is a secret password to mention for Social Saturday VIP treatment.  Here was last weeks:

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Sinful Sunday: No corkage on all bottles from our wine shop over $20 all night long

Happy hour is comprised of $5 Sangria, $5 well cocktails, $3 Moretti draft beer and a select $5 white and red wine by the glass.  I hear the Tequila Mule with a subtle infusion of chile pepper is quite worthy of a try.

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Wine: Ben Kephart, myself, Director of Operations: Mike Rutherford and Executive Chef: Joe Magnanelli.

Thanks Fellas for an amazing dining experience.  From your authentic cozy decor, locally foraged ingredients, delectable dishes, wine savants (psst -10% discount on a case of wine) and winning attitude; CUCINA enoteca is delicious all around.  I guess it is pretty clear your Cucina is something all of Orange County needs to know about.

I’ll see you there friends,


CUCINA enoteca is situated on the northwest side of the Irvine Spectrum Center, just across from the Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21. Lunch and dinner is served from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

31 Fortune Drive, Ste. 306 | Irvine, CA 92618

For more information call (949) 861-2222 or visit


  1. I’ll meet you there for that tequila number. Get our your date planner!

  2. We had me at burrata.
    Sounds so delicious.
    Wendy recent posted..Who Wouldn’t Want this Girl?

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