Cantinetta Luca offers casual, informal dining, featuring menu items such as delicious pizza, baked in an authentic, Italian, no gas, wood-burning pizza oven. Luca also specializes in antipasti, a dozen or so varieties of salume and handmade pasta. Whole fish and roasted meats are served family style. All of the presentations are simple and rustic; food prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients to bring out bold flavors. The executive chef is Jason Balestrieri who worked with Walter Manzke at Patina, the famed Los Angeles restaurant of star chef Joachim Splichal.
Giuseppe Panzuto, Cantinetta Luca’s general manager is a native of Italy who has worked in restaurants here and abroad, most recently at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.
The interior decor of Cantinetta Luca is antique/modern, inspired by the old refurbished buildings of Italy. The design is a blend of stone, brick and glass, chiseled wood and bright Italian colors. The decor features a barrel vaulted ceiling, brick and chiseled beams contrasted by superb contemporary furnishings and modern lighting all set off by rich colors and textures.
There’s always lots of activity at Luca giving diners the opportunity to watch chefs in action because the restaurant and bar were designed around an open kitchen with the stove centered as an island, accessible to chefs from all four sides. Cantinetta Luca also has a glassed-in meat aging room where its housemade salumis are dried and cured.