12.04.2014

Dinner & A Movie: Settebello

It's that time again! Time to take another vicarious visit through me to yet another downtown SLC restaurant. If you like Italian style pizzas (you know with the homemade dough and crushed tomato sauce...) then you might wanna perk up your ears for my review of Settebello. Luckily for readers who don't live in Salt Lake.. but do live on the west side of the country, this restaurant has two locations in Nevada and three in California. Full list of locations to find a Settebello near you click HERE. But before you go trying the restaurant on your own, read how I rank the all-important categories of SERVICE, AMBIANCE & FOOD. And as a special treat, my dining companion Jen went above and beyond with her blurb to the extent that she probably wrote more than me! As such, I'll be combining her thoughts with mine on every category. 

PRICE: 
$ = 5-10 avg. per entree 
$$ = 10-15 avg. per entree 
$$$ = 15-20 avg. per entree 
$$$$ = 20-30 avg. per entree 
$$$$$ = $30+ and above per entree.

Settebello is $$

RATINGS: 1 star = Poor, 2 stars = fair, 3 stars = good, 4 stars = very good, and 5 stars = AMAZING. 




THE SERVICE


The service here at Settebello's was pretty decent. We received our items incredibly fast and we were constantly getting our water refilled. My only complaint would be the hostess sat us (two people...) around a giant round table right near the front when there were several two people tables around. Not sure I understood the choice on that one. Also, our hipster waitress was kind of a low talker. But I can't complain too much. RATING: 4.

JEN SAYS: The service was very quick. We ordered our food and it appeared probably within 10 minutes. I received a refill of my lemonade which I was not expecting. Nice plus right there. Our waitress was very quiet and didn’t interact with us very much, but I could tell she was working hard so good for her.




THE AMBIANCE


Now I haven't been to any of the other Settebellos, but the ambiance at the Salt Lake City location felt more like a work in progress than a finely established restaurant. It was simplistic, which was nice.... but it felt like something was missing. Certain areas of the restaurant had more charm than others and more attention to detail. And unfortunately the sound kind of carries wherever you go. The best part would have to be the combination of having the giant oven within eye's view, and the gelato in the conjoined store next door. Overall I feel like the atmosphere of Settebello is where the restaurant needs most of it's improvement. That said, as a lunch place it is more than acceptable. RATING: 3

JEN SAYS: The ambience was less than superior to the service…We had a very large group dining next to us with people ranging from the very young to the very old. It appeared to be one big family gathering. Now, I’m all for family outings and I don’t even mind if they’re loud. They must be having a good time. Unfortunately, as time passed it got to a point where I could tell the family had finished their food and the parents were just sitting around talking. As such, the children started to get antsy and at one point they started treating the entire restaurant like one big jungle gym. We’re talking running up and down the aisles, climbing all over the chairs, and laughing/screaming while they play. I don’t mean to put a damper on playtime but I really think a manager should have stepped in and told the parents to wrangle their kids. Therefore, I give the ambience and service at Settebello’s a combined score of 3.



THE FOOD

Prior to this I had been to Settebello one other time and I remember being OBSESSED with the pizza I got. I couldn't get enough of it and in fact ate the whole thing (a fact I'm not proud of, but not ashamed enough to omit.) I was very excited to return, but unfortunately I did not have the same luck in my pizza choice as I did on that first outing (which sadly, I don't even remember what I got then.) This time I saw an item on the menu called "The Emilia" ( [No Crushed Tomatoes] Prosciutto Cotto, Panna (Italian Cream), Fresh Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiona, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and thought "how could a pizza named after the combined name of me and one of my best friends let me down?" Unfortunately pretty easily. It was fine just bland. What I was really missing I think was that great tomato sauce taste I crave from a pizza...so it was my fault for not ordering a pizza that had it. Luckily, the food had a chance to redeem itself when we ordered dessert: a Nutella pizza. It made everything right again. I'd attempt to describe it, but I don't do it justice the way Jen's description below will. The Emilia I would have given a 3, the Nutella pizza is a 5 all the way. Since I know this place can be great I'll come in the middle and give it a 4....but if you're looking for more consistency in items being good AND having the benefit of it being even faster I urge you to check out Pizzeria Limone (a less sit down restaurant version of the same type of pizza.) I've been informed they too have a Nutella pizza. To help you weigh the ever important decision here's the menus for both. You can find Settebello's menu HERE and Pizzeria Limone HERE RATING: 4.

JEN SAYS: For my culinary enjoyment I ordered the Pizza Carbonara. A pizza with crushed tomatoes, topped with delectable pancetta (tastes like bacon!), and egg (wha!? Who invited that guy??), followed by a layer of creamy mozzarella, seasoned with cracked pepper, a touch of basil, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Sounds good, yeah? I chose this pizza because it obviously reminded me of the infamous Italian Spaghetti a la Carbonara, one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes.  
So did the pizza live up to my expectations??... Not really. Believe it or not it tasted rather bland. I was expecting to be walloped with an explosion of delicious flavors, but instead I found myself reaching for the salt on the table. The egg also took me for an unexpected tail spin. I didn’t anticipate the flavor being so strong and although I didn’t mind it at first I discovered that the more I ate the less appealing it became. I was tempted to ask my dining companion if she would be interested in trying one of my slices if I could try one of hers…solely because I was still hungry, but didn’t want to eat any more of my own pizza. I felt this dish had great potential, but didn’t quite hit the mark. 
But then…Salvation came in the form of dessert. Say hello to Settebello’s Nutella Pizza. Perfectly cooked crust layered with fresh bananas that’s then covered in a rich blanket of chocolate goodness, topped with shaved almonds for a nice crunchy texture, and doused with a healthy dose of powdered sugar bliss. This is pizza perfection. The pizza is warm so the chocolate melts over everything, the crunchy almonds offer the perfect texture, the combination of chocolate and banana is wonderful, and the powdered sugar adds a wonderful dose of sweetness. Oh my word I want one now. Overall my Pizza Carbonara was average, but I’m convinced I just need to order something more to my liking next time. And of course the Nutella Pizza was perfect. Therefore, I give the food at Settebello’s a 4.

So there, you have it! Some things could be better, but overall it's a pretty nice place to eat an Italian style pizza. My only advice on the entrees: choose wisely.

& A MOVIE. The theme of "choosing wisely" is never more prevalent than in Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. As such it would make an excellent companion to Settebello. Or perhaps Eat, Pray Love with the sequence that is a love letter to Italian pizza? If you're looking for a night out...well you could see The Theory of Everything which I reviewed already HERE. Unfortunately, there aren't any major new releases tomorrow.

2 comments:

Johanna said...

Where is the restaurant? I'm sure I've driven by it. So you were too full for gelato, huh? :) And that's one of your favorites. Well, we should check this out sometime. The Nutella pizza sounds intriguing.

Sarah said...

That dessert pizza does sound super good. Interesting that they topped it with almonds instead of chopped hazelnuts. Too bad the other pizzas were kind of disappointing. It is also too bad you don't remember what pizza you got the first time you went.