New Orange County restaurant puts a new twist on Italian classics.
Cucina Enoteca, the sister restaurant of San Diego’s award-winning Cucina Urbana, recently opened at Irvine Spectrum bringing a culinary and design style all its own to the Orange County dining scene. Guests first lay eyes on Enoteca’s charming and spacious patio complete with sparkling garden lights and an olive tree referencing the kitchen’s Californian and Italian influences. The dining room mixes whimsical bohemia with clean, modern touches and bright graffiti on the walls to create an endless feast for the eyes. However, the real treasure is Enoteca’s sumptuous yet simple menu. Begin with vasi—mason jars filled with various Italian delicacies such as marinated olives or burrata cheese—served with Tuscan toast. Between Enoteca’s creative pizzas, piattis and pastas, you’ll have a difficult time selecting an entrée. Favorites include the speck and pineapple pizza, kabocha squash and parsnip ravioli and veal piccata. Stop in for Happy Hour 3-6 pm daily and pick up a bottle of wine at the restaurants wine shop which offers premium bottles from around the world. 31 Fortune Dr., Irvine, 949.861.2222. www.cucinaenoteca.com