I’m a big fan of Italian food. Authentic, homemade, feels like you are in Italy Italian Food. While some places in Orange County clearly miss the mark, Cucina Alessa strikes a bulls-eye.
Cucina Alessa has three locations across Orange County – one in Huntington Beach on Main Street, one in Laguna Beach, and the original Cucina Alessa in Newport Beach. The only main difference between the locations is that the Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach stops have a bigger bar and Laguna offers a mozzarella bar. While I haven’t been to those locations, it’s hard to imagine that it has the same charm as the original in Newport Beach, located on PCH.
The family and I decided to go to the original Cucina Alessa for my dad’s birthday, and even at 6:30pm, the place was packed. We made our way to the tiny bar and decided on some wine and a mushroom pizza to hold us over. As soon as I took one bite of the mushroom pizza I knew we were in for a treat. It was loaded with flavor and the mushrooms were nice and tender.
Soon after our love affair with the pizza, we were seated at the table and began to intently study the menu. Everyone decided to order something different so we could try each other’s plates.My brother went with the Spinach risotto – which was nice and creamy and a beautiful shade of green.
I went with the spaghetti with vegetables and tomato sauce. It was good, but not my favorite dish of the night.
The Englishman decided on a tortellini dish with hints of sausage and bacon in a cream sauce. It was also very good and very decadent.
But the highlight of the evening was my mom’s dish – the Butternut Squash Ravioli with brown butter and sage. Words cannot describe. I spent most of the meal trying to steal bites off of her plate. It was really THAT good.
Of course being that this was a birthday celebration – no real Italian meal would be complete without some Tiramisu….Tiramisu in a martini glass for the birthday boy who was not looking at the camera.
And a Panna Cotta (my personal preference)….
Overall, I was quite impressed with Cucina Alessa. The price was right, the food was delicious, and I loved the homey atmosphere. You could tell the chefs were proud of the food they were serving and the taste certainly reflected it. I’m definitely planning on coming back to Cucina Alessa and can’t wait to try their new location in downtown Laguna Beach. And you can be sure I’ll be ordering a large order of Butternut Squash Ravioli the next time.
6700 W. Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663