If you love good Italian food then I highly recommend trying Cucina Enoteca at Irvine Spectrum. It isn’t exactly fine dining, but it is in between fine dining and your average Olive Garden type restaurant, but the food is well worth the price. When I first ate at Cucina, I loved the food so much I ended up eating there for dinner as well as the following lunch. If you like fresh Mozzarella cheese then you have to start off your meal with a Vasi (Burrata + roasted garlic confit). Do not let the mozzarella sit for long because it will start to toughen up and get chewy, mix the cheese right away and spread it onto your bread with some roasted garlic (OMG, to die for!).
Now overall, all of their dishes are really good (at least the ones I’ve tried) but for now I want to focus on three dishes that you MUST TRY if you are eating at Cucina Enoteca for the first time. The first one was the Vasi that I just mentioned, the second is the Truffle Mac and Cheese. Please understand I am a Mac and Cheese fanatic, and I have to say this is one of the best I’ve ever eaten! Not only is it perfectly balanced with rich and creamy cheese and Al dente shell pasta, it also is infused with mushrooms and it has a light hint of truffle (not overbearing). The final touch that makes it perfect is the crispy bread crumbs as well as the fact that it is served in a perfect size which can be eaten as a side for two, or as a meal for one without being too much.
My third favorite dish at Cucina is the Burt Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Sauce. I know at first that sounds like a weird dish, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. When you order it, make sure to request extra spicy sauce because what they do is they lay the Brussels Sprouts on top of a bed of sauce, but since they pack on a heap of Brussels Spouts you need the extra sauce on the side so you can dip the top layer…. trust me, you want the extra sauce and they will be happy to give it to you because the servers there know the sauce makes it AMAZING! I could honestly eat a bucket full of these Burnt Brussels Sprouts and someone would still have to take the fork away from me because I would keep eating it as long as it was in front of me. Like I said, all of their dishes are good so I would recommend checking out their menu and stopping by. They also have a huge wine selection so if you are wine drinker then definitely check our Cucina Enoteca, have some wine, sample their different meats and cheese and enjoy good food! Here are some more pictures to wet your appetite…
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