Dining Delights, Featured


A private reception Monday gave some VIPs in Pasadena a taste of Italy, complete with vintage Sophia Loren movies playing on the bar’s TVs instead of sports – Photo by Terry Miller

– An award-winning chef, some of the country’s top beverage experts and a restaurateur’s decade-long research and life-long dream, all converge at Trattoria Neapolis 336 South Lake Ave, Pasadena.
This 150-seat eatery serves a hybrid of Italian traditional and California market-driven cuisine by Chef Bryant Wigger. A 7,000 pound imported Neapolitan wood-burning oven sits at the heart of the restaurant (proprietor Perry Vidalakis said “We had to reinforce the floor before we brought it in”), plus a custom wood burning grill and a dedicated smoker. Trattoria Neapolis soft opened July 10 with dinner service. Lunch service is scheduled soon.

The restaurant’s all-star team was meticulously assembled by restaurateur/owner and Pasadena local, Perry Vidalakis. GM James Bottoms is a veteran of three Michelin-starred restaurants. Chef Wigger – most recently at the Four Seasons Los Angeles and formerly executive chef of Zagat’s best Italian restaurant in San Diego – takes pride in hand-crafting pasta, bread and salumi in-house, not to mention his signature roast garlic gnocchi with smoked pork shoulder.
Vidalakis has also assembled impressive beverage programs, each chosen with the same focus on top quality with a wide range of affordable choices and special reserve selections.
The cocktail program was created by the “Godfather of the L.A. cocktail scene” Vincenzo Marianella. The program focuses on craft versions of classic and original cocktails made with quality spirits, fresh fruits, juices and herbs such as a homemade fruit marmellata, and house infused cucumber vodka. Marianella works closely with in-house bar manager Ken Baranda.
Christina Perozzi, noted by Los Angeles Magazine as the best beer sommelier in Los Angeles, is the beer program architect, with 14 craft beers on tap and more by the bottle. In-house beer sommelier Hallie Beaune aims to show diners how truly delicious a beer pairing can be when partnered with great food.
The wine program is designed by Diego Meraviglia, 4th level sommelier and VP of the North American Sommelier Association. In-house sommelier Dominic Ta features 24 wines by the glass, a main list of 50 wines by the bottle, and a “Sommelier’s Corner” of major wines from Sassicaia to Opus One.
The restaurant was designed by Hatch Design Group, one of Los Angeles’ premier designers, and features a stunning balcony, private wine room, and an airy garden room – all working harmoniously to combine the warmth and hospitality of an Italian trattoria with the finishes of marble, imported tile, wrought iron, and custom woodwork.
Trattoria Neapolis is open for dinner nightly 5pm to 10pm, and 5pm to 11pm on Friday and Saturday. Lunch Service is coming soon, as is take out from the dedicated To Go counter/Bottega, which will sell imported Italian goods and fresh products made in house. Other coming soon treatrs include late night dining, specially hosted beer tastings and classes, winemaker dinners, and Aperitivo (aka Happy Hour). Ample free parking is available behind the restaurant.
For more information visit trattorianeapolis.com, or call (626) 792-3000 to book a reservation.

July 13, 2012

About Author

tmiller Terry Miller has been in the newspaper business for 35 plus years, following in the footsteps of his father who was a Foreign Correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph when the family sailed to New York from London abroad the Queen Mary. When not shooting pictures, chasing a breaking news story. or playing drums, Miller spends entirely too much time and effort with Little British Sports Cars like his beloved 74 MGB...more like an addiction, says his wife of 22 years.

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