Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mamma Gina's Ristorante

After Corteo, Lisa and I went for some italian on the Newport Harbor at Mamma Gina's Ristorante. I had never heard of it before but Lisa had and said it was good, she was right. It was the freshest, most delicious pasta I've had since I was in NY.

Lisa and I like to order two different entrees and share. We settled on:

  • Pappardelle Alle Contadina - House handmade wide egg noodle with our genuine hearty meat sauce, grilled mild italian sausage, sweet red and yellow pepper on super tuscan red wine sauce.
  • Mamma's Lasagna - savory meat sauce served over handmade sheets of pasta layered with ricotta, mozarella and other cheeses.
Lisa loved the lasagna and I loved the contadina. But it was all fantastic. So good. The flavors were rich, without being heavy. I've heard the Barefoot Contessa talk about how fresh pasta needs no sauce and now I can see why. It is is so delicious and these sauces didn't overwhelm it.

While the food was fantastic there was no ambience in the place. The harbor location would have been fun and visible during the day, at night the house lights were so bright we couldn't see anything. The lounge next door was so loud we could hardly hear each other either. I wouldn't go to Mamma Gina's expecting romance or the ability to carry on a conversation, but the food is worth a visit. I would go for lunch when the prices are less expensive. Dinner entrees range from $20-$30. Average lunch prices are $10-15.

One of my favorite parts of the dinner was when the table next to us was filled with six, typical, middle-aged, Orange County women. They wandered in dressed like their daughters with clothes just a little too tight, hair just so, perfectly manicured nails and slightly liquored up. They sat down and immediately ordered drinks. It took them 15 minutes to figure out what two entrees the six of them would share. Gotta love the O.C.

251 Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660.
Phone: (949) 673-9500

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