ildolceClassic Neopolitan Pizzas at Il Dolce

Costa Mesa eatery transports diners to southern Italy with to-die-for pizza dough and palatable pastas.

Il Dolce delivers delicious pizza and other Italian delights in an inviting, casual setting. Owners Roberto Bignes and Fernanda Masuero’s family backgrounds – Argentine from his side and Italian from hers – are reflected in the eclectic menu of pastas and pizzas with a touch of South American flavor. Bignes, who holds a certificate from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana and worked with the esteemed Wolfgang Puck, creates simple, yet flavorful dishes that supersede his credentials. Tantalize taste buds with polpette al forno—meatballs served in marinara sauce balanced with a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese melted in the oven with basil—or empanadas filled with ground beef or chicken before enjoying Il Dolce’s flavorful main dishes. Consider sharing a salad such as the beet salad with spinach, braised beets, goat cheese, caramelized pecans, orange mandarins and citrus vinaigrette and a couple of pastas or pizzas for the table. Standouts include the spaghetti carbonara with pancetta, garlic, egg and Parmesan as well as the pistachios pizza with Parmesan and Gruyère cheeses, red onions, rosemary and olive oil. Pizzas at Il Dolce are made with flour imported from Naples and baked to perfection in a wood-fired oven. Also on the menu are chicken picatta, organic grilled skirt steak Argentinean style and seafood risotto. On Tuesdays, join the restaurant for wine night and receive half-price off all bottles of wine. 1902 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, 949.200.9107.

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