Settebello in MDR...try it, you'll like it!
It JUST opened a week or two ago in the Marina Marketplace on Maxella between Lincoln and Glencoe. We were originally going to check out the also newly-opened Yardhouse, but since the wait there was long, and the place was loud, we decided to investigate upstairs.
There we found Settebello. It specializes in Italian light plates and handmade pizzas (no pasta): Insalate Romana has arugula, speck, marinated artichokes, goat cheese, shaved parmigiano, pignolis, with lemon vinaigrette and a balsamic reduction. There are several salumi plates and anitipasti such as bruschetta and prosciutto and melone.
We were going to order either the Pizza Settabello -crushed tomatoes, pancetta, sausage, mushrooms, toasted pignolis, mozzarella, basil, and olio- or the Pizza Carbonara- crushed tomatoes, pancetta, egg, cracked pepper, parmigiano, mozzarella, basil and olio- but after having the warm beet antipasta- roasted beets, goat cheese crema, roasted garlic, marcona almonds, dill & olio, a nice bruschetta served with crispy pancetta, and their Misto plate- several Italian meats, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, a brie-like blue cheese, and almonds with a focaccia on the side, we had no room.
They have a full bar and a good selection of Italian wines, and 8 beers on tap plus 7 bottled.
Their 7 desserts are all made in house. (While their panna cotta is more like a pudding than a flan, it was still good, and I want to try their cannoli).
The waitstaff was very friendly and happy to please. The music was Italian contemporary (I'm a stickler for ethnic restaurant playing the appropriate ethnic music)!
The Misto plate, warm beets, and bruschetta antipasti, two desserts, a bottle of sangiovese/merlot ($26), one Americano and a coke cost us $75, not including tip.
We dined on the patio overlooking Maxella but being on the second floor, did not feel like we were smack in the middle of traffic. While we sat at a table, there was also a small fire pit and a lounge area outside.
So for a light but good Italian nosh/meal in the Marina del Rey area, here's a great place to go!
Finally got to report on my experiences with Settebello in MDR. To preface this report, I really love the pizzas at Settebello in Pasadena, enough that I think their Neapolitan pizzas are among the best in LA.
In that light, the first time I tried MDR, I ordered the Marguerita and the Settebello. and the pizzas were horrible; The crusts had none of the hearty, toasty flavor of Pasadena. If it wasn't for my great experiences in Pasadena, I would have written a horrible review of this place.
Noting the mostly positive reviews here, I held off until I could go back a second time. I finally got to go back and tried again. Honestly the pizzas were much better this time around, but far from transcendent. Founder and owner Brad Otten was really involved in getting the Pasadena restaurant going, but he has not been around for MDR.
I'm going back to the Pasadena one, but I hope MDR gets its act together. I would love to see it do well. It has location and simply the best parking in the area. But I'm afraid I can't recommend this place for now.
the crust on the happy hour pizzas was, to my palate
1) thicker than their regular crust
2) the happy hour pizzas didn't seem to be "done" enough for me.
the regular pizzas, though, to me are fine.
i've taken three different neighbors there to get the word out.
agree with pizzamaven, that neopolitan pizza to go is a non-starter to me, stone or no stone.
like Novell, i dig it also
here are the two reviews i did of it on
another thread comparing it to stella barra (sp?)
1) just tried settebello tonight.
officially, good pizza has returned to marina del rey (since antica left)
if we are narrowly talking about the pizza, i still have to say that i believe the stella barra pizza is much better, but the convenience factor at settebello combined with better than adequate quality trumps having to arrange my life around getting to santa monica early enough to get a table.
also, the seating, general level of service, and general ambiance at settebello is far better than stella barra.
also, settebello has a few great happy hour specials available before 6pm. both in terms of food and wine.
all in all, a much more civilized place than stella barra with much easier parking and young waitresses that didn't treat my party as though we were invisible because we didn't fit the demographic.
i could easily walk into settebello with a party of other folks like myself who lived through the jimi hendrix days (i.e. lost some of our hearing) and we'd still be able to communicate with each other and be treated graciously..comparing it to stella barra:
2) the main quality that, to me, stella barra offers that all the others don't, is that their tomato sauce has a VERY INTENSE tomato flavor.
as much as i do really value that tomato intensity, it is not enough of a pull to induce me to regularly jump through all the hoops.
also, at stella bara, you can see that they store quite a bit of wine near the ceiling (couldn't think of a worse place, the hottest part of a pizza restaurant) which made me very leery about actually ordering any wine there.
by comparison, the MDR settebello is a breeze to get to, a breeze in terms of parking, has seating that was designed to be comfortable, much more gracious service, and on, and on, and on.
the tradeoffs, imho, favor settebello.>>
actually, i don't remember the loudness of Stella Barra in SM, but there is all the rest:
1) their incredibly uncomfortable seating (done intentionally, i am sure),
2)the often long waits for a table,
3)the fact that once when i went there at about 5:30 (to avoid the wait) there was a large party that included a bunch of grade-school kids, neither the restaurant nor the parents would stop the kids from using the bar area like a little race track,
4) inadequate parking,
5)nowhere to wait for a table,
6)when dining at the bar, if you are not the proper demographic (i.e. a young guy) you may be treated like you are invisible,
7)the waitstaff appeared frazzled and overwhelmed on several occasions, etc.
the difficulty of navigating stella barra most days is in the same league of navigating 800 degrees in westwood in their most madhouse hours.
should be noted, though that the seating at 800 degrees is much more comfortable.
now NONE of this relates to the actual food i was served.
the stella barra pizza, to my palate is the best.
still, i don't feel like tolerating all the aforementioned bs to get their admittedly great pizza.
Went here last night. It was good. Dig it.
It's not completely smoothed out like the Pasadena location yet, as service was a bit slow, but the food was what I expected.
We started off with the misto platter, then had the meatballs, a Margherita DOC and a Settebello pizza. Good cooking.
Sat outside on the patio. Really nice outdoor dining area, especially with this heat lately.
Very nice thorough report.
Interesting. Settebello is famous for their Neapolitan pizzas, has the VPN for authentic Neapolitan pizza, and you liked everything else about the place.
I've only been to the Settebello in Pasadena and have had nothing but the pizza. Glad you liked all the other items, but I'd sure like to know that their pizza is as good as the one in Pasadena.
I plan to be there shortly for the pizza. I doubt I'll have room for everything else.