Evening restaurant review
I suppose I must confess right at the beginning here that I’m a pizza snob. Well, maybe snob is the wrong word.…picky is probably the right word.
I do like “fancy” ingredients like fresh basil, real parmesan, and fresh tomatoes, but in my mind those things are just the basics. After working in a pizza place for 2 years in high school I came away with a real appreciation for a well-made pizza, but when that business closed I couldn’t find anything nearly as good around town. For several years the pizzas here were overly cheesy, sometimes soggy, and mainly meaty concoctions, but with all the growth Salt Lake has seen we now have several very good pizza places. My favorite at the moment is Settebello.
Last Friday night I coerced several of my family members to come with me to eat (this did not take a lot of arm twisting). Once we were finally seated (after a reservation snafu I think was an aberration) our meal began with prompt service from our waiter. My sister ordered a glass of the Colosi wine (which she reported was very dry and fruity), the rest of us ordered various beers (my favorite is the Moretti pilsner), and we were soon eating our salads and appetizer.
My mom and I ordered two different salads to share – the Insalata ($4.99) and the Caprese ($6.99):
While the Insalata is a fairly basic salad, I am consistently impressed with the freshness of the lettuce and the good balance of the greens to dressing ratio. I’m one of those people who pick through salads to disentangle any wilted pieces, and I never even think about that at Settebello.
That said, I think I’ve found my new favorite salad in the Caprese. The fresh mozzarella in this dish was amazing, and I don’t use that word lightly. I have found that sometimes fresh mozzarella is more texture than taste, but that was not the case with this salad. There was a slight sprinkling of salt on the cheese, but that only heightened its actual flavor which I can only describe as deeply milky. That doesn’t explain how delicious it really is, but believe me this is something special.
The antipasti appetizer we shared is called the Misto ($11.99):
I think my favorite part of this is the foccacia fresh from the wood burning oven. The mushrooms, olives, and chunks of parmesan cheese compliment each other, but the bread and the various meats (ham, mortadella, and salame) are the real winners.
I ordered the Settebello pizza ($12.99):
It arrived piping hot from the oven just as I finished my salad. I love this pizza. The crust is crisp, but not so thin it feels like a cracker, the tomato sauce is light and very fresh tasting, and the mozzarella doesn’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. However, I think the pancetta makes this pizza. This pancetta is so flavorful I could probably do with out the sausage that also comes on it, but the combination of the meats, pine nuts and basil are totally satisfying.
I did get to try my sister’s favorite pizza though, the Bianca ($11.99). This is one I hadn’t had before and I must say the combination of prosciutto and arugula was delicious, even though a bit hard to eat. It’s tough to get the greens to stay on the slices, but worth the effort. If the picture we took hadn’t disappeared you would have seen why.
My mom and other sister shared the Margherita pizza ($9.99):
They reported it was very good, but I think they wished they had added another ingredient or two to it because they kept snagging slices of my Settebello.
My brother-in-law ordered the Ripieno ($11.99), Settebello’s version of the Calzone:
As you can see from the picture it was huge! Stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, salame, and mushrooms it was a more food than we could handle. I found my bite of it a bit bland, but then I didn’t really get a huge sample (too busy with my own pizza).
We rounded off the night with Settebello’s delicious gelatos:
We tried tiramisu, strawberry, and hazelnut (and my brother-in-law had a coconut one before we all got there). I stuck to the strawberry one and was very happy with its bright fruit flavor, but all of them were devoured down to the last lick.
Other than the seating snafu at the beginning of the meal, the service was nicely attentive. Glasses of water were filled quickly, plates were removed promptly, and the check appeared at just the right time ($140.00 for 6 of us). I hate to sound like Goldilocks here, but in my mind the service at Settebello that night was just right.
Settebello certainly satisfies my inner picky pizza eater, and with the great company and good food we shared, I was more than satisfied at the end of the night.
Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
260 S 200 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
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