Eats with Elle: Lunch at Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana

By Natalie Barrett

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 7 2013 4:26 p.m. MST

Editor’s note: Natalie Barrett experiences what it’s like to dine out with her 3-year-old daughter, Elle.

Pizza is just a gimme for little ones.

It’s like babies and bottles. Pizza and kids just seem to go together.

At least it does with Elle and me. One of my favorite memories of my small family was my 3-year-old daughter and me ordering up delivery on a Friday night and curling up with a great movie on the couch.

To nip our pizza craving, we decided to go to Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana in the heart of Salt Lake City, located at 260 S. 200 West. The restaurant is stunning to the adult eye and smells divine once you step inside.

Upon entering, you can’t miss the wood-burning oven where they cook their pizzas. The pizza is made with a soft dough that forms a thin crust and only cooks for about 60 seconds in their oven. Because of the heat and the quick cooking time, the pizza is thin and has char spots, which are signs of authentic napoletana pizza.

“It’s pretty legit,” said Francesco Martinelli, a young employee of Settebello for six years and native of southeast Italy. “The pizza style that we use is a Napoli style. Napoli is very known, and they are actually the ones who invented Italian pizza. We keep it very strictly to their pizza.”

Our lunch date started out spectacularly. We got to sit at the bar by the oven and watch our pizza being made and then put into the oven. The short prep and the one-minute cooking time helped with Elle’s toddler-sized attention span as we waited for the food. She learned about dough and how it felt, saw all the vegetables and cheese they put on the pizza, and watched as they used a giant spatula to place the pizza in the oven.

She was mesmerized. When the pizza came out, I think it was visually satisfying for my 3-year-old because she'd seen all of the elements that went into the pizza. Normally it comes from a box or from the freezer, so this was something special.

I served my daughter some marghaurita pizza — or “cheese” — which she managed to pick at. The pizza consistency was softer and much thinner than anything she was used to. I, however, ate exorbitant amounts, enjoying the garlic, peppers, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes. I’m amazed that I didn’t walk out of there five pounds heavier.

It was easily the best pizza I have ever tasted, though Elle gave a slightly different review. Her palate may just be too used to Chuck E. Cheese’s.

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