Creative Cucina at Bello Chef’s Table

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Chef Zach Scherer shows off his pasta prowess at Bello Chef’s Table, offering a dozen or more highly creative courses at a special counter at Bello by Sandro Nardone. The counter seats up to six people and offers a direct view of the chef, who introduces each dish, and the modern Italian kitchen behind him. Imaginative dishes riff on ingredients from Chino Farms and other local producers; disparate lighter courses arc to equally intricate meat courses. “It starts off fun and experimental, ends up very yummy—yummy-ish but still very thoughtful,” Scherer says. “It’s never like, here’s the umami bomb, good luck!” Highlights might include a starter called Snowball, which tops Santa Barbara uni with apple, prosciutto, and bay-leaf ices; a risotto nero with sepia, black garlic, and licorice; slow-cooked duck with espresso blueberries, porcini jus, agrodolce puree, and borage; and a charred dessert of burned Cara Cara orange, espresso semifreddo, pistachio, and dark-chocolate crémeux and crunch. The menu is offered Thursday through Saturday and changes weekly. Reservations are taken with a week’s advance notice and cannot be canceled. $245 per person plus tax and gratuity; $150 without aperitif and wine pairings.
1200 Bison Ave., Newport Beach, 949-520-7191,


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