It took a long time to visit Carmel and not want to eat at Katy’s Place. Of course there are other restaurants that are worth visiting, and Katy’s isn’t open at night, so that paved the way to finally try Cantinetta Luca, an Italian restaurant just off the coastal town’s main street, Ocean Avenue, which chef-partner Jason Balestrieri oversees and L.A. chef (and Balestrieri’s one time roommate) Walter Manzke helped open in 2006.
The restaurant has wood fired pizzas, several pastas and entrees, but the aspect that left the biggest impression was the salume, mostly house-made and kept in a glass fronted room between the bar and open kitchen. We ordered the Selection of Salume ($24.95) and subbed in wild boar prosciutto for sweet capicolla from the Bronx for an extra $3. This ended being a great deal, since we got to experience eight different meats, most of them pork-based.
The wood plank hosted, from left to right:
1 *Wild Boar Prosciutto, deep red and gamier than standard prosciutto
2 *Mortadella w/black truffle, bologna like texture with earthy notes
3 *Organic Prosciutto, rosy-hued, streaked with good fat
4 *Chestnut & Sage, firm, herbaceous, and earthy
5 Speck, sweet and fat rimmed
6 *Salame Cotto with pistachio, even sweeter and softer
7 Spicy Calabrese, firm and subtly spicy
8 *Lamb Salame, firm and mildly funky
*made in house
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.