Bello in Newport Beach Offers Authentic Italian Cuisine in Orange County
Bello in Newport Beach recently opened taking over the Pita Jungle in The Bluffs shopping center. Owner and chef Sando Nardone prides his new restaurant with introducing authentic Italian cuisine in Orange County. Bello puts a focus on simplistic dishes with fresh ingredients. The decor is modern and moody with statement walls featuring classic Italian murals. The unique setting draws you in for an evening of incredible dining.
Caffe Borghetti Amaro, and Milk Foam tastes of espresso but doesn’t contain any coffee.
First, Lorenzo, the Head Bartender, demonstrated how he makes their Cappuccino Negroni. The drink made with Campari, Caffe Borghetti Amaro, and Milk Foam tastes of espresso but doesn’t contain any coffee. It made for a great way to start off the evening and fit the unique vibe of the restaurant.
Burrata served with pure Trout Roe.
Our server for the evening, Guido Cocomello, gave a story for each dish on our list. We also learned that he dabbles in acting and recently appeared in the Ford v Ferrari movie! He recommended that we begin with the Burrata served with pure Trout Roe. Of course, it paired perfectly with their Fresh Bread toasted with Olive Oil and Sea Salt.
The Astice Alla Catalana originates from Sardinia.
Next, Guido brought out Chef Frank to explain the thinking behind the Astice Alla Catalana dish. The plate originates from Sardinia and is typically served as a quick salad of Poached Lobster. The chefs at Bello added some elegance to the dish and paired it with Passion Fruit, Seasonal Fruit, and Black Sesame. Then, the Lobster is topped with California Fennel and of course, Olive Oil.
The Crispy Octopus at Bello in Newport Beach comes with Nduja which is a spreadable salami that adds an amazing flavor to the dish.
After that, Guido highlighted the Polpo dish and spoke of its fantastic Calabrian Vinaigrette. Likewise, the Crispy Octopus comes with Nduja which is a spreadable salami that adds an amazing flavor to the dish. As expected, the Polpo went above and beyond remaining the star of the evening.
The Norcia is one of the most popular dishes at Bello in Newport Beach.
From there, Chef Frank introduced us to the Norcia and Il Nostro Ragu dishes. The Norcia is one of the most popular dishes at Bello in Newport Beach. It is made with Rigatoncini Pasta, House-Made Pork Sausage and topped with Porcini and dusted with Summer Black Truffle Shavings. On the other hand, the Il Nostro Ragu features Tagliolini and incredible Heritage Pork Sugo. For added flavor, Chef Frank adds Pumpkin, Vin Cotto, and Parmigiano to the pasta. Both entrees paired wonderfully with a nice glass of Prosecco.
They utilize the entire fish to produce their incredibly flavorful broth.
The second course, recommended to us once again by Guido, was the Acqua Pazza. This dish includes pieces of tender Branzino served in a Fish Broth that is unforgettable. They utilize the entire fish to produce their incredibly flavorful broth. This dish will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to a night on the Mediterranean.
Finally, Pastry Chef Michelle prepared for us a lovely Sweet Polenta dish topped with a mixture of Nuts and Herbs. She also brought out a new dish, their Panna Cotta which takes three days to make! The plate was finished with Sugar Crystals, Dried Maraschino Cherries, and a light dusting of Parmigiano. No wonder it sold out on the first day they announced it!
Although Bello in Newport Beach is new to the area, you wouldn’t be able to tell with their filled seats and list of regulars. Sandro Nardone has brought a piece of Italy to Orange County with classic Italian dishes, in a unique Italian setting. We are already planning our next visit to Bello to sample their ever-changing daily menu items!