About Cantinetta Luca

Dolores St. between Ocean and 7th
Carmel, CA 93921
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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 than 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.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian, Steak, Pizzeria

Hours of Operation:
Dinner
Sunday - Thursday, 5 - 9 pm
Friday - Saturday, 5 - 10 pm

Lunch
Daily, 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(831) 625-6500

Website:
http://www.cantinettaluca.com/

Catering:
Please e-mail us with your inquiries to events@cantinettaluca.com

Parking Details:
In the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea, all parking is street access.

Executive Chef:
Jason Balestrieri

Private Party Facilities:
Wine Room: Beautiful Brick Ceiling Dining Room that can accommodate up to 45 guests.

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Please e-mail us with your inquiries to events@cantinettaluca.com

Restaurant Photos

  • seared fish - Cantinetta Luca, Carmel, CA
  • Little Gem - Cantinetta Luca, Carmel, CA
  • Pasta Bolgnese - Cantinetta Luca, Carmel, CA
  • Polipo - Cantinetta Luca, Carmel, CA
seared fish - Cantinetta Luca, Carmel, CA
Little Gem - Cantinetta Luca, Carmel, CA
Pasta Bolgnese - Cantinetta Luca, Carmel, CA
Polipo - Cantinetta Luca, Carmel, CA

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Cantinetta Luca Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

3.9

ambience

4.0

value

3.7

noise

Moderate

81% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (21)
Good for a Date (16)
Special Occasion (14)
See All
Authentic (12)
Fit for Foodies (11)
Notable Wine List (11)
Worth the Drive (9)
Romantic (9)
Creative Cuisine (9)
Hot Spot (8)
Local Ingredients (7)
Casual (7)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Good for Groups (7)
Bar Seating (6)
Comfort Food (6)
Great for Lunch (6)
Open Kitchen (5)
Good for Anniversaries (5)
Cozy (5)
Fun (5)
Wood Oven (4)
Modern Decor (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Family Style (4)
Kid-friendly (3)
People Watching (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Tasting Menu (2)
Seasonal (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Tapas (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Spicy (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Healthy (1)
Private Room (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Great Beer (1)
Business Meals (1)
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1174 reviews
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My friends and I love this place. Great ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined 4 days ago

My friends and I love this place. Great food, wonderful service, and local. Perfect.

Tags: Casual, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The Florentine Steak is to die for; bett ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined 5 days ago

The Florentine Steak is to die for; better than what I had in Florence! Will return for sure.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great place!!

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Great place!!

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food5
ambience4
service4

Kitchen was backed up and service was ve ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 2016

Kitchen was backed up and service was very slow

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food5
ambience3
service2
value2

Had a great evening on Saturday - food, ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Had a great evening on Saturday - food, service everything was perfect. Would love to go back

Tags: Great Beer, Business Meals, Family Style, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Authentic, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Modern Decor, Romantic, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Did not care for any of the food which w ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 18, 2016

Did not care for any of the food which was surprising but compared to other places in Carmel that delicious this place unfortunately didn't impress. Lovely inside but just thought the food was bad.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value1

Employees could be friendlier. Food coul ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Employees could be friendlier. Food could also be improved to match the price level.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

Great food, service and comfortable. Go ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 8, 2016

Great food, service and comfortable. Good variety of dishes and consistently great execution of food quality and service.

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great food and good service ! Liked the ...

 
 (Fargo)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Great food and good service ! Liked the ambience at the restaurant as well .

Tags: Comfort Food, Cozy, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food1
ambience3
service1
value5

When you order a porterhouse and there a ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 5, 2016

When you order a porterhouse and there are multiple options and you get none offered to you, its a bit of a shock that it costs $125 dollars when the next most expensive is $29....

Just a heads up would have been appropriate.

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food5
ambience3
service4

Always a great place to go!

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Always a great place to go!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Maybe the best roasted chicken ever! A ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 28, 2016

Maybe the best roasted chicken ever! A very welcoming place for a delicious dinner.

Tags: Wood Oven
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

This was a true delight. The cuisine is ...

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on October 25, 2016

This was a true delight. The cuisine is authentic French and we felt the price-point was very fair. Magnificent wine list and attentive wait-staff. This is a must stop for those visiting Carmel.

Tags: Healthy, Special Occasion, Private Room, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food. Service was terrible. Dr ...

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on October 23, 2016

Excellent food. Service was terrible. Drink orders not taken until 20 minutes after being seated. One of two drinks never came. Waiter was inattentive and unapologetic throughout the evening. Food was excellent, but would not return due to service issues.

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food5
ambience4
service1

I've been here several times and Have ne ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 19, 2016

I've been here several times and Have never been disappointed. Delicious food, friendly service and nice casual, comfortable atmosphere.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Love sitting at the Chef counter. It's a ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 16, 2016

Love sitting at the Chef counter. It's all about the food and fine preparations.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Fun, Worth the Drive, Open Kitchen
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a very nice meal. The sommelier r ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 15, 2016

We had a very nice meal. The sommelier recommended a wonderful wine. We were able to order gluten free pasta which was very good. The experience was less than perfect though because we waited 45 minutes for our food. One dish that was ordered as an entree came out as an appetizer. And they made a mistake with one of the entrees. But it was rectified quickly.

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food5
ambience5
service4

Been here 2x while visiting Carmel by th ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 9, 2016

Been here 2x while visiting Carmel by the Sea. It's a comfortable place with good food and wine. The pizzas are delicious as well as the pasta dishes. Would definitely go back again when in the area.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Sunday Lunch, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

I love Carmel. And i like to try to eat ...

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on October 9, 2016

I love Carmel. And i like to try to eat at new places. Some times you hit other times you miss. Luca was definatly a hit!

Tags: Wood Oven, Fun, Comfort Food, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food was good, but way too expensive ...

 
 (London)·Dined on October 8, 2016

The food was good, but way too expensive for what you get. They also served us a caprese salad with what they claimed to be buffala mozarella - it wasn't. This was not slow food with friends, it was more of a fastfood experience. Sadley, I cannot recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

Always a favorite in Carmel. The staff ...

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 8, 2016

Always a favorite in Carmel. The staff and wine staff think very highly of them selfs, and are more than glad to tell you.

Tags: Special Occasion, Open Kitchen
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

Another terrific dinner at Cantinetta Lu ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2016

Another terrific dinner at Cantinetta Luca!

Fall minestrone and mista salad to start, which we shared, were better than ever.

Main courses: Grilled shrimp with corn for me, Kansas City steak perfectly cooked, grilled peppers for my husband. Awesome panna cotta for dessert. Service always attentive and outstanding. We come here regularly -- quality of food and service is consistently excellent.

Only wish we could eat more !

Tags: Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The place was very cute and packed (Satu ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 25, 2016

The place was very cute and packed (Saturday night) but we were all disappointed in the food and especially the wait to receive our food. The pizza was the least successful of the orders along with the beet salad. The short ribs were the most liked. The side order of green beans was very plain but acceptable. Overall, for the price an OK place but we don't need to return.

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food1
ambience4
service2
value3

The food was good, the service was good ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 22, 2016

The food was good, the service was good - nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

The service was appalling. The waiter s ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 18, 2016

The service was appalling. The waiter simply did not care. He screwed up my wife's wine and was not gracious in correcting his error. The roasted potatoes did not arrive with my entree and despite being reminded of this twice he failed to deliver them before the entree was almost completed.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value2

This was our first visit - and it will b ...

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on September 18, 2016

This was our first visit - and it will be our last! The Monterey Peninsula has too many other excellent options. I was offended by wine prices... and feel the restaurant was trying to gouge us. I was also offended by the $3 added surcharge for another serving of bread (even though our party of 4 received the same amount as a table for 2). Service was condescending. Two of us ordered the chicken, served in a skillet. One of us did not want to eat from the skillet, but our request for a plate was met with indifference. The wait staff is adept at ignoring eye contact. I see no reason to recommend this resauraunt.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value1

Perhaps one of the worst experiences. F ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 17, 2016

Perhaps one of the worst experiences. Food average but service was appalling. Wanted champagne, was told it would be few mins as still chilling. Asked about it twenty mins later they told me it was no longer available. I could see table next to me having it and they arrived after me. I complained when leaving and the hostess shrugged

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food1
ambience2
service1

Unreasonable wine list, server was conde ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 14, 2016

Unreasonable wine list, server was condescending.

Pasta dish was as described, meat balls and sauce were good . Shrimp appetizer good. Pizza (open faced)? was ok.

Extra charge for additional bread , really!

Would not go back.

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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

Bisteca fiorentia is amazing

vip
 (New England)·Dined on September 14, 2016

Bisteca fiorentia is amazing

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food5
ambience5
service5

Very noisy. Waiter was hurried and took ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 12, 2016

Very noisy. Waiter was hurried and took a long time to greet us and take drink and food orders. No one knew our seating positions when delivering food. Food was decent but under seasoned. Gelato had ice crystals in it. Not terrible but not really interested in returning.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

The hostess was more than accommodating ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 11, 2016

The hostess was more than accommodating with our seating preferences. The bartender was personable while we were waiting for our table.

Our waitress was pleasant but did not check on us for long stretches of time. We waited way too long for our entrees.

The food was good but not great. Prices on the high side for quality of food.

Lovely atmosphere.

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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

The food was great as always. The octopu ...

vip
 (Dallas)·Dined on September 11, 2016

The food was great as always. The octopus starter and salumi platter that we shared were excellent. The halibut entree was full of flavor, but light. The short ribs and homemade pasta entrees were also very good. And we loved the homemade gelato for dessert. The service was very good and professional, but the wine steward was rude and stand-offish, the only negative during our visit.

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food5
ambience5
service4

The restaurant is Overpriced, loud, hect ...

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on September 4, 2016

The restaurant is Overpriced, loud, hectic , but it was labour day saturday.

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food3
ambience1
service2
value2

Overall great! The sommelier was a bit ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 3, 2016

Overall great! The sommelier was a bit snobby!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We have been to Luca several times over ...

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on September 3, 2016

We have been to Luca several times over the last 4 years. The 1st year it was extremely good. 2nd year it was good. Last year and this year, just o.k.. We aren't sure what us going on but it is far less crowded at peak dinner times and things seem to be average more than special. Watching pennies it seems. Bar tender was shorting splits of wine and although I questioned it nothing was done to correct it. I did notice people at the bar received full splits. Also shorting cocktails. Not the right thing to do. So, you could conclude I was more disappointed in seeing the bar man operate than being disappointed in the food. Our meals were fine. Caprese was very good, Tagliatelle was likewise good though portion on the smaller side. It seems in the last 2 years they have lost some of what we liked about the place 4 years ago. Shorter food and wine menus now. I'd still recommend Luca but no longer in my 4 star category.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

Great service and good food. We had a tr ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on September 2, 2016

Great service and good food. We had a tray of salume cold cuts and arancini, washed down with wine from Sardegna. The nook table by the window - the best location!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

One of the pasta dishes was overly salty ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on August 31, 2016

One of the pasta dishes was overly salty, but the restaurant cordially replaced it. The main entrees were very small and the pizza, though quite good, was 50% higher in cost than neighboring restaurants serving similar fare. The food quality is generally good, but prices are too high and/or the portion sizes need to be larger.

Tags: Authentic
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

Had dinner with sister and her husband - ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 29, 2016

Had dinner with sister and her husband - we were well received and the enjoyment continued throughout the meal: filet mignon + polenta (our steaks were perfectly cooked!); salmon special and pasta bolganese. wine was recommended by our server and were were able to sample 2 before making our selection. comfortable atmosphere - tables really filled up and after coffee and dessert we were able to catch the sunset on Carmel Beach! Jose, our server, was fantastic!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Slow service Tasteless food

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 22, 2016

Slow service

Tasteless food

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food1
ambience3
service1

Even on a very busy Saturday night(Conco ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on August 21, 2016

Even on a very busy Saturday night(Concourse weekend), food and service were outstanding as always. We were seated in the quieter back room which we appreciate. Our waiter and staff helper were so professional. The food is fresh, well prepared, and delicious. Excellent wine offerings, of course. Favorite Italian in Carmel for years, and will continue to be.

Tags: Bar Seating, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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