paper thin!

For my birthday dinner this year, we went to the brand-spanking-new Ecco in the CAMP. This one was under construction for a while, and we’ve read on Chowhound and OC Weekly that the pizza here is formidable. Delicious fancy pizza? MY FAVORITE!

exterior/interior

Hip CAMP-y exterior? Check. Warm, cozy interior (but a bit sound-bouncing)? Check. There was a charity event going on that night, so the clientele was mostly older, rich-er (looking) Newport Beach people. The energy of the place is very vibrant, maybe a bit noisy at times.

blood orange martini

Full bar? DOUBLE Check.

They didn’t have a set cocktail menu yet (just a few beers/wines of the day), so I asked the bartender for her signature drink. Here’s a blood orange martini (10) which is made of who-knows-what. It took us a while to get seated (even with a reservation) because people were lingering in post-meal bliss, so we hung out at the bar and people watched.

wine!

When we finally got seated, we muddled over the wine list for a bit. The server asked if we wanted to taste beforehand (of course!) so after three tastes, we setteled on a bottle of 2008 Beni Di Batasiolo GAVI (34). Very fruity with strong pear notes; you can pound this easily (and regret it later).

margherita

Somehow there was a runner mix-up and we received our pizza before the appetizer. But that’s okay because THIS PIZZA EFFING ROCKS. We had a very simple Pizza Margherita (12) with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil. The crust is a super crispy and paper thin, but with enough chew – it’s THE pizza for thin crust lovers. The pizza sauce is very light and makes the simple ingredients shine.

salumi plate

The salumi plate (12) came shortly after we polished our pizza off. Prosciutto di parma (16 month), fennel salame, bresaola, olives, and whole grain mustard. I enjoyed the fennel salame because it had a almost-bloody flavor to it. Everything else seemed standard.

bolognese

Don had a hard time choosing his main course because everything looked enticing (lemon caper salmon? sausage oricchiette? omg), but eventually he chose the pappardelle Bolognese (14). The meat sauce was very herby (fennel seeds, maybe?) and with the pecorino romano, it was very rich and belly-filling. The pasta was cooked perfectly to an al-dente.

natural chicken

I had the Natural Half Chicken (18). The the skin was deliciously crispy and smoky, but the flesh was tender, although a bit light on salt. The cannellini beans and cavolo nero soaked up the savory chicken jus and was… Just… Wow. Rustic flavor explosion in your mouth! I couldn’t finish it all, and the leftovers were perfect for lunch the next day.

tiramisu

Dessert! Don had the Tiramisu (7) with espresso creme anglaise and shaved chocolate, which I didn’t touch. He seemed to have enjoyed it a lot.

baked peaches

I had the Wood Fired White Peaches (7) with reduced blueberry sauce, vanilla gelato, and Amaretti cookies. To. Die. For. Light and creamy and perfectly summer-y, all at the same time. Mmmm.

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We will be back some time soon, even if only for the paper thin pizza. Speaking of which, you should totally visit them during OC Restaurant week and try it out!
Now if they could only do something about the parking situation…

ECCO
2937 Bristol St., Ste. A103
Costa Mesa
(714) 444-3226
http://eccocm.com

Ecco Italian on Urbanspoon

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Gastronomer September 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Ooh! This place sounds fab! I forwarded it to D takes a B cuz she loves pizza and goes to the OC often. Btw, Don’s papperdelle looked a lot like spaghetti. I hope he didn’t mind ;-)

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  • Darin September 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    That pizza looks amazing! So does the peach dish!

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  • ila October 1, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Cathy,
    yea, I think the kitchen messed up with the pastas. He didn’t mind as long as it wasn’t the udon-ish pasta we had in Nagoya (and yes, i’ll post about that some day!)

    Darin,
    thanks for visiting! yea, they were all AUSOME.

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  • H.C. October 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Oh, I noticed this when I discovered Old Vine Café Рthat makes 3 other eateries I wanna check out @ The Camp: this, Valhalla Table, Native Foods (and a re-visit to Old Vine).

    And a friend just told me about another “kind of like a mall, but not really” called the Lab in Costa Mesa. How are the eats/drinks there?

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  • ila October 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    H.C., if you’re going veg, you definitely have to try Native Foods! they serve the only palatable (DELICIOUS) tempeh I’ve ever had. I still have yet to try East Borough and Mesa (since Jason Travi’s the exec chef now…)
    the Lab is across the street from the CAMP. More shopping centric… The only places worth eating there are the Gypsy Den (vegetarian cafe) and Memphis.

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