I’ve been wanting to try Cucina Enoteca Irvine at the Irvine Spectrum for the longest, but I’m usually too lazy to drive there and have to deal with the parking. I suggested this place to my friends the other day and they were both so excited to go, as was I.
My friend “C” and I love Yelping pictures and she pointed out that the Short Rib Parppardelle sounded amazing. Most people complained that there was too much meat and not enough pasta. Too much meat is not something I would complain about because you get more for your bucks! We were both so set on getting that since one of their most popular entree plus I’ve never tried Parppardelle before.
The front of the restaurant is filled with a ton of wine as you can see from the picture. I just checked their site and they’re going to have a wine club soon. Get your corkscrews ready!
I’ll go straight to sharing our orders and comeback to the dining room decors. Our waiter suggested us with this Strawberry Lemonade with Pop Rock Candy on the rims of the mason jar. He had me at Pop Rock Candy on the rim! My friend “C” and I both ordered it.
I think I got a little too excited about this lemonade. Here’s a closeup of it.
And another one so you can enjoy the picture of all it’s deliciousness. The lemonade was sweet, sour, and the pop rocks add a nice flavor to the drink. It was also fun fishing out the strawberry slices.
My friend “S” heard from her friend that the Calamari was amazing here so we ordered it to share. The waiter said that it was not only calamari, but also fried fish and veggies. That’s even better! Their mixed calamari appetizer is a little on the salty side but it was delicious non-the-less. The lemon sauce it comes with is amazing though I wish they gave us more.
“S” ordered the Smoke Prosciutto + pineapple pizza which is topped with serrano chile + tarragon + mazz, and mozzarella cheese. It only comes with 6 crispy thin slices but it was enough to share with us three ladies. She warned me of the spice but I was fine with it. Spicy lovers will enjoy this pizza since it has a good amount of spicy kick. My only complaint was that the crust was a little burnt but I just ate around it.
Tada, here is one of their popular entree dishes called the Short Rib Parppardelle! “The portion is so tiny” I said in a low voice and the waiter told me that it was because “the bowl is big, but trust me, it’s more than enough” he said with a smile. I just laughed it off because I was surprised he heard me. Even “C” thought the portion was small, but after the first bite we realized that it’s so rich, heavy and flavorful and thought it was actually the right portion. The short rib melts in your mouth, the cremini mushroom helps balance the rich flavor, carrots are cooked perfectly where it was still a bit firm, and the parmigiano completed the entree.
After the assorted calimari, pizza, and the parppadelle, I was stuffed. I took the short ribs to go in this cute tiny box with a sticker which showed how to enjoy the leftovers. The next day, the leftovers were still amazing after it was reheated in the microwave.
Now lets get back to the interior. There are walls of wine bottles, a bar, and cool decorations through the restaurant.
Here is what the wall above the kitchen looks like. There are plenty of blue mason jars, wine glasses, pots, and other bottles on the shelves which gives it a relaxed ambiance.
If you’re interested in the Cucina Enoteca drink menu, here’s a glimpse of it.
Here is the menu for pastas, pizza, sandwiches, salads, and more.
My overall experience here was great as the staff were nice, it wasn’t too busy when we arrived before noon, food was delicious though on the expensive side, and I would definitely like to come back perhaps during dinner when the lights are lit up.
Cucina Enoteca is located at 532 Spectrum Center Dr Irvine, CA 92618.