Upon walking into the modern space that calls Settebello home, I immediately noticed the showcased wooden ovens that are surrounded by a sparse setting and loitering staff members. A table nearby had used plates and glasses from a previous patron that took awhile to clear; there were some crumbs and leavings on the floor, but other than that the rest of the space was clean, minus some toilet paper scrapes on the bathroom floor.
When seated, the server was good at bombarding my guest and I by asking what drink and pizza we wanted, without really engaging with us or even allowing us to even glance at the menu. She was on a mission: not to serve us, but just get our order. It would have been nice to had a chance to take a breath or offer an antipasta dish or some other recommendation. Ultimately she didn’t give us much time to get settled at first and then when we finally ordered our pizzas she was around the restaurant, but did not check on us again. All to say, she wasn’t personable and didn’t give us a good dining experience.
Regardless of our initial welcome, we did end up ordering an antipasta item, the misto. It made up in presentation that which lacked explanation. Our server left us wondering what the ingredients were after she set it on the table and left. Therefore, we ended up flagging down another Settebello employee to ask him what we were about to eat. He took us on a culinary tour and explained every part of the dish and where it came from in Italy, or if it was produced locally or nationally. The dish was a beautiful arranged sampling of Italian style meats that are served with a few sections of cheese, olives, artichokes and a full order of focaccia. The quality of the meats were outstanding, yet a couple of the small cubes of cheese offered on the board seemed to be leftover from a previous night. If our server would have explained all the components of the dish, I feel that it would have given respect to the dish, customers, and highlighted why Settebello’s is in business, as it certainly would have added a depth to what Settebello is seemingly enough trying to create: a niche of authentic culinary perfection to Salt Lake City.
The carbonara, thin crust pizza with scrambled egg and bacon, and the vico pizza, fennel with sausage, seemed at first to be fresh, however after a couple of bites into the pizza we discovered that they were both a bit soggy, which as you could imagine lead to disappointment. The flavors on the pizza didn’t shout out any flavors. The pies tasted bland and even though the cheese was melted the pizzas were certainly not hot. I would not be willing to order either pizzas again.
I am left with a couple of questions. One, Settebello’s seems to have a good reputation in Salt Lake City – is that because residents of the community like the idea of dining out at a wood oven pizza making establishment in town and simply accepting what is provided in town? Or was tonight’s service and meal not up to par because they had their “B team” working? I am left thinking that another restaurant could easily have given better service, attention, and product and therefore making Settebello’s not so unique