Italy has given us legendary works of art, from the evocative paintings of Caravaggio and da Vinci to the miniature meat sculptures of Boyardee. Admire edible Italian masterpieces with today’s Groupon to Cantinetta Luca in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Choose between the following options:
- For $17, you get $34 worth of Italian cuisine for dinner on Friday and Saturday.
- For $20, you get $40 worth of Italian cuisine for dinner Sunday–Thursday.<p>
Led by prolific chef Jason Balestrieri, the culinary crew at Cantinetta Luca transforms seasonal ingredients into authentic Italian eats packed into a dinner menu that helped garner the eatery a 2011 readers’ award for Best Restaurant in Carmel from Monterey County Weekly. Guests can share specialty antipasti such as cozze al forno, which beckons forks to dive into a cache of oven-roasted black mussels ($12), or play impromptu checkers with slices of onsite-cured salame cotto ($8) and eat their winnings.
Heads turn toward the open kitchen to watch pizza artisans paint mozzarella, prosciutto, and shaved parmesan over a cornetto pizza ($16), which slides into a wood-burning oven to bake to a golden brown. Mezzanini all’amatriciana activates taste buds with flavors of handmade pancetta pasta, shallots, and tomato ($16), and braised Colorado lamb shank ($28) replaces stomach growls with a satisfied purr. Inspired by the vintage refurbished buildings of Italy, Cantinetta Luca’s dining area blankets guests in a fusion of antique and modern décor. Exposed brick creeps over a barrel vaulted ceiling, leading toward modern light fixtures that cast their glow across contemporary furnishings, chiseled wood, and pillars of string cheese.
At Cantinetta Luca, Chef Jason Balestrieri rolls out handmade pastas and roasted whole fish. Enhanced by seasonal, local ingredients, his family-style Italian cooking earned Cantinetta Luca a 2012 readers’ award for Best Restaurant in Carmel from Monterey County Weekly. Balestrieri also cures salumi in-house to fill his signature antipasti plates, and has a salumeria next door.
Cantinetta Luca’s interior decor mirrors the Old World-style eats. Exposed brick covers a barrel-vaulted ceiling in one room, and dark-wood rafters crisscross overhead in another. Elsewhere, modern light fixtures cast their glow across contemporary furnishings, chiseled wood, and pillars of string cheese.
Dolores St. between Ocean & 7th
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California 93921