If Anthropologie were to design a restaurant, it would be a lot like CUCINA enoteca. This tasty eatery in Newport Beach has bright and cheery wallpaper, eclectic chandeliers, and a beautiful patio with hanging flowerpots. Oh, but, most importantly, it has AMAZING gluten-free Italian food!…
“Gluten-free” and “Italian” are words not often used in the same sentence, but that is not the case at CUCINA enoteca. I first stumbled upon this restaurant at Fashion Island on a girls night out and it was so delicious I knew I had to bring my gluten-free grandma back sometime soon. Pretty much all of their appetizers can be made gluten free – the salads can be ordered without croutons or crostinis and even the burger can be ordered as a lettuce wrap. My table tried the Burrata, the Prosciutto Caprese Salad (yum!), the Roasted Beet Salad, and the Artichoke & Truffle Hummus with gluten free crackers (MY FAVORITE!). No, they don’t have a gluten-free pizza crust, but they do have gluten-free penne pasta which can substitute for any of their pasta dishes! We tried the Mushroom Bolognese and Spinach Creste pasta which was delicious, but my absolute favorite dish of the evening was the gluten free version of the ‘Bucatini’. This pasta was as beautiful as it was flavorful and spicy and it had a soft boiled hen egg oozing yolkporn on top. Yum! In fact, all of the pastas can be made gluten-free except for the Tortellini. We all know how much NOBREAD loves veggies, and the roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower are musts! The cauliflower is gluten-free when you has for no breadcrumbs, and both are cooked in a shared fryer, so if you are super sensitive please beware.
CUCINA enoteca went above and beyond to accommodate our gluten free needs! I have also heard they have a fabulous Sunday brunch, so I will have to try that next time. I found gluten-free love in a hopeless place: an Italian restaurant. CUCINA enoteca puts an end to the search for the perfect gluten free pasta.