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Cantinetta Luca

Certificate of Excellence
$$$
Italian, Pasta
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Dolores Street, Between Ocean & 7th, Carmel, CA 93921
+1 831-625-6500
Website
Today
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Sun - Sat 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Fri - Sat 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Description: Cantinetta Luca offers an authentic menu inspired by the traditional...
Cantinetta Luca offers an authentic menu inspired by the traditional recipes of various regions of Italy featuring hand-crafted dishes using the finest Italian goods and locally sourced ingredients in a lively atmosphere. Executive Chef / Partner Jason Balestrieri shares his Italian culinary heritage and travels through handcrafted dishes prepared traditionally with a simple and rustic presentation. Starting with treasured family recipes passed down through generations the menu specialties include a hearty selection of source verified premium meats, first hand selected then hand-cut on site, a wide array of anitipasti including house cured artisan salume, wood-oven baked pizza offered at lunch, housemade pastas and sauces, and whole roasted fish.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 316 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 138
    Excellent
  • 96
    Very good
  • 39
    Average
  • 24
    Poor
  • 19
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
If Only the Service Equaled the Food

Menu is much more meat centric since my last visit. Ate solo at the chef's bar. Every dish i had was delicious but service lagged; requests too frequent; and in closing, just a little too impersonal. No reason not to dine at Luca since the food is some of the best in Carmel, a town not known for... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 20, 2015
Houston S
,
Los Angeles, California, United States
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316 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toledo, PR
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2015 via mobile

We were really disappointed here, service was really slow. My wife's steak was ordered medium and it was served rare, my son's gnocchi were tough and heavy, my veal was adequate but my side order of polenta (3 tablespoons amount) was bland at best. We would expect that, at this price point, service would be consistent. Too overpriced to warrant... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2015

Most of the restaurants in Carmel serve interesting and very good food. Cantinetta Luca is a disappointment. A few of us ate lunch at the restaurant. The beet salad was very small and sparse...and the pizza was overcooked, dry and actually burned on top. The staff was frazzled although the restaurant wasn't crowded. There are a myriad of better choices... More 

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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2015

Had one of the best meal in my life. The food and the service were terrific. I really enjoyed this place.

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Dallas, tx
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
193 helpful votes 193 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2015

This place came recommended from several people but we came out of here disappointed. We did not have a reservation and most places in town had a long wait, but Luca was able tog et us in (maybe that should have been a hint). They seated us at a bar area that was located overlooking the kitchen. Service was terrible... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2015

We have been frequent customers at this restaurant and on our last visit, learned they had changed their menu. No more gourmet pizzas with house cured meats??? Seriously? Now the focus is on big meat- and I mean big! No one should be served a 20 ounce steak unless it is meant to be a dinner for two, especially since... More 

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Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

even with a last minute visit, no waiting and very good meal. I do recommend for those who enjoy a good Italian food

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Los Angeles, California, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

Menu is much more meat centric since my last visit. Ate solo at the chef's bar. Every dish i had was delicious but service lagged; requests too frequent; and in closing, just a little too impersonal. No reason not to dine at Luca since the food is some of the best in Carmel, a town not known for all that... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Santa Monica, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2015

This little Italian deli in Carmel has the most wonderful selection of salame sand cured meats, cheeses and pastas, etc. I asked for advice on salame and purchased a spicy and applewood smoked one - gave as gifts and was told they were wonderful. Try to go at lunch and get a slice of their pizza - move was a... More 

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Cambridge
Top Contributor
259 reviews 259 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2015

A buzzy atmosphere - high and low tables, a bar next to which is a glassed in cabinet with hams and salamis suspended. We shared a couple of starters, and had pasta for mains. The pasta was al dente and the all romana and the more complex with wild boar usage and truffle simply outstanding. So however was the bill... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015 via mobile

After a bad day at work, I was searching for comfort food - and Cantinetta Luca was definitely what I wanted. The aranchini were awesome- little rice balls stuffed with cheese and fried- yum! For my entree- my favorite paparadelle with ragu - I love the flavor and the portion was perfect. Add a nice glass of Italian red wine... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: Dolores Street, Between Ocean & 7th, Carmel, CA 93921
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Monterey Peninsula  >  Carmel
  • Phone Number: +1 831-625-6500

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 20 - 50
  • Cuisine: Italian, Pasta

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining

Description

Cantinetta Luca offers an authentic menu inspired by the traditional recipes of various regions of Italy featuring hand-crafted dishes using the finest Italian goods and locally sourced ingredients in a lively atmosphere. Executive Chef / Partner Jason Balestrieri shares his Italian culinary heritage and travels through handcrafted dishes prepared traditionally with a simple and rustic presentation. Starting with treasured family recipes passed down through generations the menu specialties include a hearty selection of source verified premium meats, first hand selected then hand-cut on site, a wide array of anitipasti including house cured artisan salume, wood-oven baked pizza offered at lunch, housemade pastas and sauces, and whole roasted fish.
Open Hours
Sunday
5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Monday
5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Tuesday
5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Wednesday
5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Thursday
5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Friday
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Saturday
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Cantinetta Luca staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?