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Jul 31, 2012 11:44 AM

Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena?

Has anyone tried it yet? The menu looks great, and the drinks look fantastic. Just wondering!

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  1. I'm anxiously awaiting a report, too, hoping someone out there has the funds to take one for the team, so to speak.

    1. The drinks I had were indeed fantastic-I had one of their featured cocktails which was called a Peaches and Herb. The arancinis were delicious as was the creamy mozzerela on the caprese.

      Of the entrees my party ordered, I liked the gnocchi the best. The appetizers and sides we had were more memorable in my opinion than the entrees.

      Service was very good. I think this place is worth checking out, but funds would keep me from making regular stops!

      1. Well, I tried to go a week ago (Wednesday night IIRC), but it was packed and the wait for a table of 4 was about an hour at 9PM, so if you are going to check it out, probably best to make a reservation ahead of time.

        1. I've been meaning to review - thanks for the kick in the pants!

          I went two weeks ago - on a Wednesday night. Showed up around 6pm and it fairly empty - but, by the time I left (a little after 8pm), the place was PACKED. I had called the day prior & made a reservation.

          The space is fantastic - beautifully done and easily the best of Pasadena for decor/vibe. I could not get enough of it. I wish I could say the same for the food. Overall - the food was "meh".

          Cocktails: did not disappoint. I ordered the "easton" $12 - vodka/mint/cucumber?? I could have had a pitcher of this - absolutely perfect!

          Apps: Salumi platter ($15) - this is where the disappointment began. It was a beautiful presentation and touted to be 'house cured" which set my expectations high. There were 5 different kinds, 2 pieces of each (I can not remember them all - and they were very quickly rattled off when presented at the table - I wish they had a little list). It was served with frisee and tiny pieces of pickled veggies, a delicious cherry compote (the star of the dish, IMO), and fried gnocchi (which reminded me of plain, stale, donuts). I enjoyed most of the meats, but wouldn't order it again.

          Main: I ordered the Osso Bucco ($36) on a bed of creamy polenta. I am a huge fan of this dish in general and usually bee line to it when I see it on a menu. The meat was flavorful - but it was dry (which, to me, seems like an impossible kitchen gaff). The polenta was disappointing as well. I tried to figure what was wrong with it - it didn't seem to hold together well & was lacking flavor - perhaps I'm used to enjoying a more creamy (cheesy) polenta? The star of the dish was a delicious lemon zest that was plentiful throughout. For the price point of this dish - I expected perfection. This was easily only passible and nothing even close to the execution I expected.

          Dessert: Warm Chocolate Cake ($9) - small portion - not worth the price tag, but a sweet note to end the meal. Like the rest of the food it was "just ok". Nothing I'd particularly throw out, but nothing to rave about or make your eyes roll to the back of your head. It did have a similar cherry compote on top (much like what was on the salumi platter) - which was delicious and interesting. But, dessert could have been easily skipped.

          The pizzas that were coming out looked delicious! Thin crust, dinner plate sized. I want to return for cocktails & pizza! The pasta looked promising as well. Served in half or full portions (the 1/2 portion I saw was appetizer size).

          The service was, quite frankly, confusing. I sat in the front room (high ceilings, very airy, tables extremely close together) - we were greeted/addressed by 3 or 4 different people, had a 5th server take our order and then disappear. I wanted a glass of wine with dinner - it was difficult to flag someone down (my back was to the main room, and my constant turning around was futile). I was finally successful, but it took awhile and came out as I was finishing my last bites (which I saved for the wine). Everyone was very nice, but it didn't seem as though roles were clearly defined (it reminded me of service at a cooking school restaurant - eager to please, but uncertain).

          The main room with the bar is bustling and quite noisy when full - mostly booth seating in this area. There's a great counter space with a few bar stool seats that would be ideal for watching the kitchen action. There's also upstairs - with tables better spaced out (than the front room). It was quite warm upstairs (vs much cooler in the front room).

          I really wanted to love the food here and have a feeling the pasta/pizza/cocktails route is the way to go... at least for now!

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Oracle

            Thanks for the report! The service issues might be attributable to the place being newly opened, so I won't let that stop me at this point (now, if they're still having problems 3 months from now, there's more cause for concern).

            I hope to hear soon about the pizzas & pastas; that is where they'll need to shine to win my business (I can happily skip main courses if you give me a good pizza & pasta).

            1. re: Jack Flash

              I chalked the service up to the new factor as well... they were definitely well meaning and plentiful! I had expected a touch more finesse - akin to the Smith Brothers folks (Parkway, ACH, Cheval Blanc, even Smittys!)

          2. Pictures?! Just noticed the pictures link! :)