Trattoria Neapolis soft-opens in Pasadena tonight with a tight team that includes the Pascal Olhats and Bruce Logue-trained Bryant Wigger in the kitchen, Beer Chick Christina Perozzi curating the brew list and partner Hallie Beaune acting as beer sommelier, cocktails designed by Copa de Oro's Vincenzo Marianella, a wine program curated by fourth-level sommelier Diego Meraviglia, and former Sona general manager, Dominic Ta, in place as its day-to-day wine pro.
The restaurant will begin by offering dinner service seven days a week, to be followed by lunch and brunch in the coming weeks. Neapolis is the passion project of Perry Vidalakis, an Italian food fanatic and Pasadena local whose background is mostly in investment banking and film (he's a grad of USC's grad film program). Here he hopes Pasadena will indulge in Wigger's very personalized take on Italian recipes.
Neapolis is taking a forward approach to Italian tradition by embracing authentic elements like cooking in a 7,000-pound wood-burning Neapolitan oven, over a wood-burning grill, and in its own dedicated smoker, as well as hand-making pastas, breads, and salumi. A window even allows guests to see an Italian diving-arm mixer and pasta extruder hard at work from the dining room. The kitchen's salumi, displayed in a butcher's case, is available for take-out, while coffee takes as much precedence as the other liquids that abound, with beans that come from Stumptown going into an imported La Marzocco GB5, in addition to the restaurant's reserve, single finca coffees.
On the other side, Trattoria Neapolis also allows for market-sourced experimentation, as found in the restaurant offering antipasti of arancini stuffed with lobster and pickled fennel, adding avocado and ciabatta croutons to a panzanella salad, providing pizzas of smoked pork shoulder porchetta, pairing veal scaloppini with Tuscan black kale, lemon sofritto, and lemon butter, and braising osso bucco with Craftsman beer. What results is a great looking menu in which Wigger and team add their own seasonal flavor to solid Italian standards.
See Trattoria Neapolis' full menu online as it prepares to soft-open to Pasadena tonight.
Trattoria Neapolis, 336 S. Lake Ave. Pasadena. 626-792-3000.