- JAB Jul 26, 2014 10:04 PM
I was able to secure an invitation to a private party / soft opening at Settebello Newport this evening. As regular readers know, I'm a huge fan of the DOC at the Pasadena location. Tonight, the crust was on point, the sauce was on point but, the buffalo mozzarella was lacking. In Pasadena, the buffalo mozzarella melds with the sauce to create this pink crack sauce. In Newport, the buffalo mozzarella did not meld with the sauce at all. Additionally, the beers on tap were all flat with no carbonation. They need to work on their delivery system for their tap beers. Parking was a bitch. The room is spacious and beautiful.
Parking was a bitch? It's a strip mall. If you parked by the Trader Joe's, the most you could possibly have walked was 5 minutes!
Anyways, I also went tonight. What an amazing deal! Free food and drinks. As much as you want of everything. We did four appetizers and four pizzas.
I myself did not order the DOC so I cannot comment on the mozzarella. I wonder why yours didn't meld. Temperature? Different cheese? Who knows. I split the settebello, the regular margherita, and the carbonara. All truly superb.
Truly is a gorgeous space. I fear that it is so wonderful that it may soon have a very Javier's vibe to it.
If you're in the OC, they are having another friends and family night tomorrow. I called them tonight at 8:30 and they accommodated us wonderfully, although we were not on the list yet. I imagine you could do the same thing tomorrow.
Logistically, they are opening for real on Monday. But won't be doing lunch for a week or two according to our waitress.
I also went last night as part of the free dinner deal. Had a blast! I was really impressed that there seemed to be no limitation on what we could order as part of the promotion. Our table enjoyed a well-made Old Fashion, a Stone IPA (it was a bit less fizzy than normal as noted by JAB), a cucumber/gin cocktail, the DOC Margherita, the Settebello pizza, 4 apps (polenta bites, duck crostini, Roma salad, foccacia) and an order of zeppole to finish off.
The foccacia was a tad too salty and the zeppole was a bit chewy and tough (like the batter over-mixed) but everything else kicked ass. This was my first time at a Settebello so I have no prior experiences with the chain to which I can compare the DOC margherita pizzas. Was it as good as the special margherita at Tony's Pizza Napoletana in SF? Not IMHO, but it was delicious nonetheless. Flavorful and chewy crust, bright sauce and fresh ingredients. For me, Pizzeria Ortica now has some serious competition in the OC Neapolitan pizza department. Plus, the space is very open and nicely designed. I like the trees located throughout the restaurant.
My SO and I were impressed and will definitely return. With our toddler. It seemed very family-friendly, which is not always the case for the other dining options in the Crystal Cove shopping center.
Parking was tough but we lucked out and found parking almost in front of the restaurant.
I only note 2 reviews on Yelp with one of them being a 5 star review (the other is 2 stars). There are two reviews on Trip Advisor with one of them being a repeat of the 2 star review that is posted on Yelp. The second review on TA is a complaint about "wet" and "soggy" pizza, which is probably a complaint on Neapolitan styled pizza in general.
I went again last weekend and found the DOC pizza solid but in need of a bit more basil. Enjoyed the salad and Vicco pizza in addition to the DOC. The service could be quicker but I still like the place. I feel like the room was a bit empty when I went on a Sunday afternoon but that could have been the timing. Based on the dearth of online reviews, however, I fear that the Newport/OC crowd is too carb conscious for this place to succeed. I really hope it does succeed.
searching4dunny-- Some of the waiters/waitstaff are fantastic and some of them not so much. One of the waitresses was actually the manager at the Pasadena location--she is awesome.
I talked to her about how they were doing and she was 100 percent confident they would succeed. I hope she's right.