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
  • Little Gem - Cantinetta Luca
  • Pasta Bolgnese - Cantinetta Luca
  • Polipo - Cantinetta Luca
seared fish - Cantinetta Luca
Little Gem - Cantinetta Luca
Pasta Bolgnese - Cantinetta Luca
Polipo - Cantinetta Luca

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Cantinetta Luca Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.9

service

3.9

ambience

3.9

value

3.4

noise

Moderate

76% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Most Booked
Monterey / Carmel
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Great for Lunch (11)
Good for Groups (10)
Good for a Date (7)
Worth the Drive (5)
Authentic (5)
Bar Seating (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Casual (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Kid-friendly (3)
Comfort Food (3)
Good for Birthdays (3)
Local Ingredients (2)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
People Watching (2)
Great for Brunch (2)
Modern Decor (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Open Kitchen (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Seasonal (1)
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1151 reviews
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The place was very cute and packed (Satu ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined 6 days ago

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

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

 
 (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

Wonderful home-made pasta and Bolognese. ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Wonderful home-made pasta and Bolognese. Generous Arugula salad. We split both dishes and it was plenty. They graciously accommodated our small service dog. Otherwise, not dog friendly in a very dog friendly town.

Tags: Good for a Date, People Watching, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My only complaint was the waiter we had ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

My only complaint was the waiter we had with my group was not to friendly, but the food was good.

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

Service was slow and indifferent. After ...

vip
 (Orlando)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Service was slow and indifferent. After service of the appetizer (white bean soup), there was no follow up by the waitress. The soup beans were undercooked and the soup lacked flavor. Salt and pepper had to be requested to make it edible. When I informed the waitress that the beans were undercooked and the kitchen should be told, there was no response. No offer to replace it, no offer to remove it from the bill, nothing. The remainder of the meal was no better. I will not return.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value2

Server forgot to put in meal order for s ...

vip
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

Server forgot to put in meal order for sixth person. Chef apologized.

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food3
ambience4
service2

I thought the service was okay - not out ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

I thought the service was okay - not outstanding. I think the prices are high especially that you don't get any veges or salad with your main. very expensive for what you get.

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food3
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wonderful pasta's great pizza & the carp ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

wonderful pasta's great pizza & the carpresse salad with burrata is to die for !

Tags: Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Amazing charcuterie board, phenomenal se ...

vip
 (Sacramento)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

Amazing charcuterie board, phenomenal serrvice from Mario, and a bone in NY to die for.... doesn't get better than that!

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food5
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I had the beet salad and the heirloom to ...

vip
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on July 26, 2016

I had the beet salad and the heirloom tomato soup. Ugh....the soup tasted watered down and flavorless. The salad was decent, but not seasoned well either. Such a disappointment

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food2
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service4

Delicious fresh pastas and half chicken ...

vip
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on July 26, 2016

Delicious fresh pastas and half chicken was outstanding. The service was attentive and our waitress was lovely. We enjoyed every bite and the ambiance was charming. We have already made another reservation!

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food5
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service5

The restaurant seemed to look pretty but ...

vip
 (Dallas)
·Dined on July 25, 2016

The restaurant seemed to look pretty but the moment we arrived we were seated immediately at the front window table. It was a very nice table, however, being new to the area I asked the host if I could walk through the restaurant to see the place and possibly consider another table with more ambience. The host was very rude and responded by saying you are the only person who has ever complained about the window seat. I was not complaining. I was just interested in seeing the restaurant considering we had never dined there. The host has an attitude and proceeded to give us attitude the rest of the night. The food was good but we won't be back.

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food3
ambience3
service3

Very disappointed in the extremely limit ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

Very disappointed in the extremely limited menu and quality of food.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

We frequently dine at Cantinetta Luca. W ...

vip
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

We frequently dine at Cantinetta Luca. We enjoy the food and the ambiance. The back dining room can get a bit noisy when it is full. I don't normally order chicken when dining out but they have a fabulous roasted chicken dish.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great food, tables are too close togethe ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Great food, tables are too close together. Service was good.

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food5
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The arugula salad was fantastic--I'd nev ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

The arugula salad was fantastic--I'd never thought of pickled peaches and beets together, but it was such a wonderful combination. The funghi pizza was delicious as well. I could have done without the oppressively loud '80s music, but it's a lovely setting and our waitress was very helpful. I'll be back!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

We were in Carmel and friends recommende ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

We were in Carmel and friends recommended this restaurant. We all enjoyed our meals, but weren't floored. The potato gnocchi was quite good, but we were expecting better. Overall a fine restaurant, but there seem to be many choices in the area with charming ambience.

Tags: Romantic
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food3
ambience3
service4
value2

It was probably an off night, but it was ...

vip
 (Palm Springs)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

It was probably an off night, but it was an hour between salad and getting our pasta. The waiter did bring us a glass of Chianti on the house to make to try to help. But even the table next to us, and they came in much later, couldn't get waited on and they were regulars. It isn't worth it in my opinion. The food was fine, but not exceptional. Cute atmosphere, but loud.

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food3
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The worst service we have ever have. Foo ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

The worst service we have ever have. Food is not better than homemade pasta. No bartender. The only special thing is the salumeria. The restrooms were not clean.

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food1
ambience1
service1
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disorganised, though booked. Waited; fro ...

 
 (Liverpool)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

disorganised, though booked. Waited; front of house flustered and panicky....

Though booked was given a table for two which was cramped in the main thoroughfare and they almost made someone sit next to us with about 6 inches between the tables. Any closer and I would be eating off their plate. The people who were ebing made to sit refused!

Hurried service; starter not finished, mains came!

Noisy, strange music loud and ...nothing to go back for.

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food4
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service3
value1

From the minute we walked in the experie ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

From the minute we walked in the experience was terrible. We had a reservation and the hostess acted as is we were bothering her. Our waiter was also the bar tender and barely paid us any attention. Our glasses were never refilled. Chicken was good but pasta was under cooked and sauce tastes like it was canned. I would never go back.

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food2
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service1
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The house-cured meats alone are worth th ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

The house-cured meats alone are worth the visit, and the cocktails are tasty. Definitely try out the panzanella!

Tags: Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Had 6:30 dinner reservations. Arrived on ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on June 23, 2016

Had 6:30 dinner reservations. Arrived on time seated within minutes of our reservation and sat for 21 minutes and no one came around for a drink or food order!! We left at 6:53 walked over to another restaurant had a lovely dinner with great service.

Sorry Luca, you will not be seeing us anytime soon. Understaff and no service will not make any friends.

Call me anytime for suggestions......

Tags: Casual
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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

Fantastic meal with wonderful service. W ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on June 16, 2016

Fantastic meal with wonderful service. We absolutely loved it and would return on our next visit to Carmel.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Staff were friendly and accommodating an ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on June 10, 2016

Staff were friendly and accommodating and the service was outstanding. We would return! Highly recommend!

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food5
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service5

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