Mama D's Italian Kitchen - Newport Beach, CA
So my husband heard about this place from someone he works with, and we decided to give it a shot last night. Boy am I glad we did!
Let's start with the service. We were seated and immediately attended to by our waiter, Dave. He asked our names and shook our hands and was genuinely friendly without overdoing it. He took our drink orders, came back and told us about the special. I mentioned that we had never been there before and was having trouble choosing between the angel hair pasta with pink sauce (the pink sauce is raved about in every review of this place I've read) or the special (chicken gnocci). He told me the menu items are all wonderful, but that they are ALWAYS on the menu, and that the specials change weekly or on the chef's whim. So I decided on the special. A few minutes later, the manager, Luke, came to our table and brought us some complimentary homemade ravioli with marinara sauce to try. After our meal, Dave brought us some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies! It was a wonderful touch to an already perfect dining experience.
As for the food? I was so impressed. The fresh made garlic bread is just the right amount of crusty. It's served with a simple oil/balsamic vinegar sauce with crushed garlic for dipping. The bread alone is worth the trip. We shared an order of the mozarella marinara, which was delicious and quite filling. Between that and the complimentary ravioli, I was beginning to doubt whether I'd have room for my entree. I had the chicken gnocci, served with a wonderful light diavala (spelling?) sauce. It was amazing, The chicken was so tender and delicious, and the gnocci was to die for. Anders had the veal piccata, which he also raved about.
At the end of our meal, Dave remembered both of our names and thanked us for coming. He also said the manager wanted to give us a thanks for coming, and presented us with a card good for a free appetizer on our next trip in.
I have never had such incredible service and incredible food in my life. This place is definitely worth the price (the highest listed entree on the menu is about $20.00) and worth the wait (we got in just after 5 and were seated immediately, but bythe time we left, it was pretty busy).
If you like Italian food, do yourself a favor and check it out!