Cantinetta Luca

Overall Rating: 6.350

Address: Dolores St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn. Ocean & 7th Aves.
City, State ZIP: Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Neighborhood: N/A
Phone: 831.625.6500
Hours: Su-Th 12:00pm-9:30pm; F-Sa 12:00pm-10:00pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating:
Barista: 4
Savvy: 5
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Fiorenzato
Coffee Rating:
Aroma: 6
Body: 6
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: +0.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Tazzina Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: IPA
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 1/13/2007
First Reviewed: 1/13/2007
Notes: N/A


This Italian trattoria is insanely packed and popular for Carmel. Lines, even with reservations, sometimes lead out the door for the hottest restaurant ticket in town since it opened in the summer of 2006. They use a two-group Fiorenzatio Ducale (with E61 group heads) at the bar. However, the bar staff often leave at least one portafilter handle cooling in the drip tray.

They produce an espresso with a medium-to-darker-brown crema. It's served at a lukewarm temperature and has a pungent flavor with a hint of wood. Although the wait staff told me they used Illy beans, they clearly did not -- and chose just to make something up unfortunately. This lie was betrayed by its flavor...and their Tazzina Espresso-logo IPA cups. (Why? A local Tazzina roast is most often better than imported Illy anyway?) Served with a puzzling lemon rind and rough, two-colored sugar cubes on the side.