Are you already excited by all the food in the picture above? I am! I've never thought of Irvine Spectrum as a dining destination. However, when I was invited to dinner at Cucina Enoteca, I was game to give the place a try. And I was pleasantly surprised!
The menu is varied with large and small plates, which is great for either a full on dinner or just some appetizers with drinks. You can go for a cheese/charcuterie board, vasis (mason jars full of antipasti dips), bruschettas, appetizers, pastas, pizzas, and entrees. Also, the food arrived FAST (within 15 minutes of ordering) so if you're going to watch a movie across the way, no worries - you'll get in and out in record time.
Since we were so overwhelmed with options, we decided to go family style.
vasi - burrata, roasted garlic
grilled octopus, pickled beech mushroom, charred spring onion, acqua pazza aioli, black garlic and corriander vinagrette
chopped salad, escarole, radicchio, casalingo salumi, caciocavallo, pickled shishito, parmesan crouton, ceci bean, castelvetrano, garlic oregano vinagrette
risotto carbonara, pancetta, pea, pecorino, farm egg
short rib pappardelle, cremini mushroom, carrot, parmigiano
linguine+clams, salametto piccante, chili, white wine brodo, fettunta
tiramisu in a jar, mascarpone mousse, lady fingers, chocolate
dark chocolate budino, crème fraîche, amaretti cookie
As previously stated, I was extremely surprised by how great this meal was! We attacked the food as soon as it came so some of the pictures are not perfect (egg yolk broken, salad scooping in action) so I apologize .. but everything was well executed, season perfectly and arrived at the table piping hot, even though it all came out within 15 minutes of us ordering.
My only gripes are that half of the seating is outdoors so if you're sensitive to the weather, you may want to make a reservation and request an inside seat. And we ordered a non-alcoholic soda. the "aquazul" (strawberry, mint, lime, ginger, soda) and it was $7, which we thought was a bit steep. My friend probably didn't look at the price before she ordered it because she was a bit surprised.
CUCINA Enoteca Irvine
Irvine Spectrum across from movie theatre
532 Spectrum Center Dr, Irvine, California