Friday, August 3, 2012

Pasadena: Trattoria Neapolis

Trattoria Neapolis is good.

I can only remember a few times when I dine somewhere and I loved it so much that I go home and still think about it, let alone a restaurant that just recently opened.  Trattoria Neapolis is a new Italian restaurant that just opened recently, but even though it is the new kid on the block, the place was packed on a Saturday night.  At first I was a little hesistant trying Trattoria Neapolis because it is just so new, and generally new restaurants still have a lot of kinks to work out, but the packed crowd was a good sign!  Luckily we only had to wait for about 15 minutes before we were seated.

Oh and because I didn't really think I was gonna like this place as much as I did, I didn't even bother bringing my camera, which was a huge fail... so all my pictures were taken with the phone!

Trattoria Neapolis
336 S Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101

trattoria neapolis
Trattoria Neapolis.  So new that lunch service and happy hour didn't even start yet.  They will also have beer & wine tasting.

drinks beers
Beer & cocktails list.  I like how they feature local microbrews for their draft beers.  Lots of specialty cocktails done by professional mixologists too.  I can see people just coming here for the drinks at the bar.

pizza pasta
Part of the food menu.  Pizza & housemade pastas!

Campanula Sour
Diana started off with a Campanula Sour, which is Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, St Germain, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh Mint, and a piece of Red Bell Pepper.  Very refreshing and unique.  I had the Blond 5 by Brouwerij West, which is a local brewery that specializes in Belgian style nomadic craft and is based out of Palos Verdes, my hometown!  HAH how cool is that!  I didn't take a picture though cause it was served in a pint... so it looked like any other beer :P
Salumi, which several more unique ones than their typical meat plate.

prosciutto san danielle
Rather than the usual Prosciutto di Parma, they serve Prosciutto San Danielle instead!  Prosciutto San Danielle tastes sweeter to me and I actually prefer it.

fried gnocchi
Beer battered gnocchi. Crispy, salty, crunchy.  Who can resist fried dough?

From the top: Salami,  Bresaola (?), and Capicola.  Salami had a nice peppery note, and Capicola is always good.  The Bresaola was the most interesting because it is actually beef and I've never had beef charcuterie before.

housemade headcheese
They also make their own headcheese, sitting next to some preserved fruits.  Headcheese is essentially a "meat jelly" and if you never had headcheese, you are missing out :P  Generally it is made with all the animal parts people do not it.  Don't know how they made theirs but it is good!

porchetta pizza
Porchetta pizza.  It is seriously a pork lover's dream. It's topped with smoked pork shoulder, Taleggio, caramelized onions, pancetta, cracklings, and sage. The smoked pork shoulder is smoky and goes really well with the Taleggio. Caramelized onions add a bit of sweetness and the cracklings changes up the texture of the pizza. They actually imported a 7000 lbs wood burning from Italy and you can taste the result from the charred parts on their great crust!

Vongole.  Hand cut linguini, manila clams, pancetta, jalapeno, and a garlic white wine sauce. All pastas are made in house and you can definitely tell.  The texture is amazing thanks to the hand cut linguini!

I think the food at Trattoria Neapolis is more rustic Italian, and I definitely did not think I would like it as much as I did.  Next time, I'm bringing the DSLR for sure.  Props to Neapolis for getting it right during the 1st week of their opening!