South by Southwest
Naples meets Southern California in Pasadena
The vision of Italy presented at Pasadena’s new Trattoria Neapolis is not a singular one.
A diverse team--including chef Bryant Wigger, barmen Vincenzo Marianella and Ken Baranda, sommeliers Diego Meraviglia and Dominic Ta, and The Beer Chicks (Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beune)--collaborated on food and drink.
In the kitchen, Wigger has a relaxed approach to the trattoria canon, one unbound by tradition. The antipasto of gently grilled octopus ($9) is served on thin potato crisps; smoked pork and artichokes accompany gnocchi flavored with sweet roasted garlic ($9).
Pan-roasted market fish (pictured; $28) is a seafood response to the meaty umami conversation. Anchored by clam broth and brushes of anchovy paste, the fish (halibut when we visited) was brightened by fava beans, mint and lemon zest.
The drinks are organized according to flavor profile, so if something “refreshing” is in order, you’ll find the fruity Fico Pazzo, a gin-based drink with fresh figs, on that section of the menu. The rotating selection of draft beers included a few summery selections from Eagle Rock Brewery, or you could opt for a bottle of Tatomer Riesling ($38 for 750 ml).
Trattoria Neapolis is currently a nighttime affair, but it will soon offer lunch, along with a well-stocked bottega for the harried home cook.
Trattoria Neapolis, 336 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena; 626-792-3000 or trattorianeapolis.com
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