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Ecco Italian Restaurant Costa Mesa- Good but Unremarkable

Porthos Jul 31, 2010 03:31 PM

Someone recently recommended Ecco in Costa Mesa as a place having better pizza than Pizzeria Ortica. According to "industry people" this was supposed to be better. Based on such a strong recommendation, I decided to give Ecco a try last night. It was very average. The food was decent and good at times but not remarkable in any way. The pizza selection reminded me of a poorly knocked off version of the pizza selection at Mozza. They even had a Finocchiona pizza with fresno chiles. Hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The pizza however was not in the same league as P.Mozza or even P. Ortica. Not by a long shot.

We had:

-Heirloom tomatoes with arugula and gorgonzola. The heirloom tomatoes were drenched in balsamic vinegar. Literally, not a single micron of the surface of the 3 slices of heirloom tomatoes was spared. One could hardly tell the quality of the tomatoes. It would have been a shame if they were any good.

-Finocchiona pizza with fresno chiles. One of my favorite pizzas at P.Mozza. This version was surprisingly bland. The crust was crispy but flavorless and didn't have the texture or chew of really good pizza crust.

-Sausage pizza with caramalized onions and olives. More flavorful than the Finocchiona, but again, not in the same league as the pizzas at Mozza or Ortica.

-Paparadelle with bolognese. The paparadelle was fresh, the bolognese was decent but did not have the depth of flavor one gets from really well prepared bolognese. The bolognese at Ortica wins easily. The portions are bigger at Ecco though.

-Linguine con vongole. The clams were very fresh but the linguine was much too soft for my liking.

The wine list was very limited and uninteresting. Most bottles around $40 but that's the only plus. There were somewhere between 6-8 types of red available.

The service was very friendly and attentive even with the large birthday party that evening. My meal was enjoyable but I definitely did not find anything at Ecco to be in the same league as Ortica.

  1. nomnomnoms Aug 1, 2010 10:00 PM

    Wow, Ecco finally opened? With Old Vine, Valhalla Table, and Native Foods, PLUS Mesa's food (supposedly) getting better, parking is just going to be hell at the CAMP...

    Thanks for the news, will definitely try some time soon!

    -----
    Old Vine Cafe
    2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    1. f
      foodsmith71 Aug 7, 2010 07:22 PM

      We just tried Ecco, Costa Mesa last night. We loved it!!! It had great energy, fun, fresh food.
      I had the Pork Porterhouse, special of the night, outstanding. It was nice to see something different on a menu.
      My, husband had the house made meatballs, and again, they were wonderful!! Finally a new and actually good, restaurant in OC. For the negative review, give them a second chance! They just opened!! The Chef has definitely shown some skill and passion.
      We will definitely be back.

      1. OCAnn Oct 7, 2010 11:23 AM

        I tried Ecco this past wknd and thought it was good, not great. I had the interesting bruschetta two ways and a pasta dish that was very flavourful but too soft/overdone. If I'm going to dine @ the Camp, I'll make a beeline for Old Vine.

        -----
        Old Vine Cafe
        2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

        1 Reply
        1. re: OCAnn
          2
          2intune Oct 7, 2010 04:50 PM

          I was similarly unimpressed with Ecco. With Il Barone not far away, and the re-opening of Il Giardino (formerly Panini), I'm not sure what Ecco brings to the table.

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