Good news, Del Marians (it’ll catch on), CUCINA enoteca is now open right in your backyard. A fusion of California-inspired cuisine and Italian offerings, the new restaurant is fashioned similar to its well-known sister property, CUCINA urbana, as a modern kitchen with a rustic, country-farmhouse charm.
The celebrated proprietor, restaurateur and interior designer Tracy Borkum is behind CUCINA enoteca’s opening and has been a leader in San Diego’s culinary world for the past 17 years. Located in Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade, the two-story, 7,000-square-foot venue took nearly a year to construct. Borkum’s other projects include the recently opened Fish Public, Urban Kitchen Catering, CUCINA urbana and the 2011 opening of CUCINA enoteca at the Irvine Spectrum Center.
Gathering an all-star team of local design, construction and artistic talent, Borkum created a space with fresh character and bohemian highlights with a focus on natural and reclaimed materials. The second-story open-air deck will serve as an outdoor lounge where diners can enjoy cocktails and small bites while overlooking the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re a handcrafted-specialty-cocktail person, a lover of hard-to-find Italian artisan beers or just a fine wines connoisseur, there’ll be plenty of options to choose from here.
Heading up the culinary team are Executive Chef Joe Magnanelli and Chef de Cuisine Andrew Bachelier. Chef Magnanelli has an Italian heritage and has worked in small, family-owned eateries along with larger East Coast luxury restaurants. Combining flavors of Italy with organic California freshness, the menu boasts an in-house cheese program, hand crafted confections, artisanal breads and pastas made from scratch, and house made charcuterie and sausage selections.
The dinner menu includes items such as Burrata and Prosciutto Caprese salad, Short Rib Pappardelle, Smoked Prosciutto and Pineapple pizza, and a Brick Oven Roasted Whole Fish. Looking at their daily specials, you may want to start blocking out your week nights. Taco Tuesdays? Been there, done that. How about Take-Out Tuesday with a 20 percent discount off a pizza, salad and bottle of wine? Or do Wild Wednesdays and sink your teeth into a juicy burger washed down with a nice, crisp Moretti at happy hour prices.
One of the unique features is the “restaurant-to-retail” concept where guests can directly purchase items found in the restaurant like the customized furniture, lighting and décor, and hand-selected wines at retail price. Over the next ten years, Borkum plans to expand the brand for the Urban Kitchen Group by launching 10 additional CUCINA concepts across the nation. Which means you've got some eating to do. I know what you're thinking, and yes, I'll glady join you for a cheese plate.