Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The Mister took me on a little date Friday night. The newest installment of the popular Mario Batali eatery Mozza had recently opened to rave reviews in Newport Beach. Though we had an 8:30 reservation, we arrived much earlier hoping to grab an early table. To our delight, we landed at the Pizza Bar and were entertained throughout our meal by sous chefs whirling pizza dough and carefully plating the creamiest burrata cheese I have ever seen.
We were well into our meal and so absorbed in the live cooking show before us that I almost- read almost- missed a glimpse of Jeff Lewis and entourage eating at a nearby table. Like for real. The end all be all as far as I'm concerned.
Pure insanity ensued.
No picture... I'm a lady after all.
Back to the food. We ordered up a Neapolitan Pizza, decked out with anchovies, fried capers and olives. Perfection. But what really took the prize for the night was the restaurant's version of Caprese- a heaping plateful of the creamiest burrata (found nowhere), topped with roasted still on the vine cherry tomatoes, pesto and drizzled in olive oil. We paired it up with the Pane Bianco- a riff on crostini that served up two 2- inch thick slices of the greatest glistening, crusty bread. A little Birra Morretti washed it down just fine.
The food was sensational and we barely cracked a menu full of oohs and ahhs. The atmosphere was on point, complete with edgy classic rock music and dimly lit by high hanging, vintage looking pendants reminiscent of an old New York pizza parlor. The statement bar was built around racks of backlit wine bottles, the backside of which helped make up part of the building's front facade- quite a bit of curb appeal as far as I'm concerned.
We are already planning our return. I see lot of Mozza in our future.