Fashion Island Adds to its Growing Collection of Acclaimed Restaurants

CUCINA enoteca will open its second Orange County location and marks one of several high-profile restaurants to open at Fashion Island in Newport Beach

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (August 2013) – Irvine Company Retail Properties has announced that CUCINA enoteca has signed a lease to open at Fashion Island in 2014.

It will be the second Orange County location for the wildly popular modern Italian kitchen-meets-rustic farmhouse restaurant, which opened at Irvine Spectrum Center in 2011 and quickly became one of O.C.’s hottest dining destinations. Similar to its sister location in Irvine, the Newport Beach restaurant will also boast a unique retail component where guests can purchase the restaurant’s contemporary furnishings, tableware and decor. Additionally, guests can also purchase hand-selected wines of the Americas and Mediterranean at retail price, either to enjoy with their meal or take to go.

Originally from San Diego, the much-lauded CUCINA enoteca brand hails from celebrated restaurateur Tracy Borkum.

“We are so excited to come to Newport Beach and join the amazing collection of dining gems that Fashion Island has cultivated over the last few years,” said Borkum. “The open-air and resort-like ambience of Fashion Island with the Pacific Ocean in the backdrop – we couldn’t ask for a better setting to open our newest restaurant.”

The arrival of CUCINA enoteca marks the latest acclaimed restaurant set to open at Fashion Island. For 2013, the Bay Area’s award-winning Lark Creek Restaurant just opened August 5, and Lemonade, the popular and charming cafeteria-meets-lemonade stand concept from Los Angeles, opened August 19. Late fall will bring the highly anticipated openings of Fig & Olive, an elegant Mediterranean restaurant from New York and Los Angeles, and Red O, the upscale, Mexican-inspired concept from renowned chef Rick Bayless. In December, Blue C, a sleek revolving sushi bar concept from the Pacific Northwest, will make its California debut.

When it opens in summer 2014, CUCINA enoteca’s executive chef Joe Magnanelli will extend his offerings of California-inspired Italian classics prepared with organic and sustainable products and produce grown on local farms. The restaurant will turn out trademark iterations of luxurious pastas, antipasti, innovative pizzas and plates large and small, sweet and savory, which beg to be shared. CUCINA’s bar menu, equally as inventive, will be comprised of specialty artisan cocktails, craft beers and house-infused liquors.

A feast for the palate as well the eyes, CUCINA enoteca will offer an atmosphere of casual elegance in a strikingly visual environment. Borkum, who spearheads all of her restaurant’s interior design, will focus on raw, sustainable elements and reclaimed local material to make up the interior, evoking a modern kitchen combined with the history and comfort of an old rustic farmhouse. In addition, a touch of home, splash of bohemia and many objects new and old will complement the overall aesthetic. The restaurant will be approximately 8,000-square-foot with an oversized patio outdoor dining, a retail wine shop, bar, community seating and unmatched design and ambiance.

For more information visit Follow CUCINA enoteca on Facebook at or on Twitter at

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About Fashion Island

As Orange County’s premier coastal shopping experience, Fashion Island features exclusive specialty boutiques, world-class department stores and a diverse assortment of restaurants and cafes. Visited by millions of visitors annually, Fashion Island offers a sophisticated yet relaxed, resort-like atmosphere that is distinctively Southern California, with pristine views of the Pacific Ocean.

Owned by Irvine Company, Fashion Island is home to Orange County’s only Neiman Marcus, as well as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Home Store and Macy’s – in addition to Orange County’s only C. Wonder, Ella Moss, Trina Turk, Vince, Joie and Halston Heritage, set to open in September 2013. For more information, please visit