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Italian-Born Chef Sandro Nardone Opens Bello


One of the most exciting Italian restaurants to open in Orange County is BELLO by Sandro Nardone in Newport Beach. The restaurant features Italian-born Chef Sandro’s menu, a combination of traditional authentic Italian food and modern dishes in a style similar to that served at the top restaurants in Italy.

“We all think we know Italian food. The truth is that the dishes that many consider ‘Italian’ were invented in America. You won’t find Italians in Italy eating Chicken Parmesan or Spaghetti and Meatballs,” comments Chef Sandro, who has gained a following in Orange County after opening Angelina’s Pizzeria in Dana Point nearly a decade ago. “My goal at BELLO is to share the traditional foods of Italy as well as versions  in a modern form like those served at top restaurants in Italy.”

BELLO’s menu will revolve around the very best ingredients and simplicity, the two guiding principles that have always been the foundation of traditional Italian cuisine. Chef Sandro will utilize each season’s finest, freshest and most flavorful ingredients available, whether from land or sea, paying particular attention to each ingredient and how it complements the others in a dish.

The menu begins with an impressive selection of starters that set the tone for the guest and begin to frame the culinary journey that they are experiencing. Chef Sandro’s Mortadella Mousse Cannoli features liquid pineapple mostarda, Veal Tongue with grilled shallots and parsley, and Lobster is served with passion fruit, cherry tomatoes, and pickled onions.

The use of non-traditional ingredients with house-made pasta makes for memorable dishes. The creativity comes through in Chef Sandro’s Gnocchetti Sardi which features a classic Pomodoro sauce but is topped with a tartare of Bluefin Tuna; Espresso Pasta with sea urchin cream and peperoncino; and Paccheri with chestnut cream and porcini mushrooms.

Entrees feature a beautifully prepared Osso Buco with veal shank over polenta with braised Treviso, and Branzino in fish stock, tomatoes, garlic, and peperoncino. Guests have the option to indulge in Pork Chop or Ribeye Steak, as well as Fritto Misto with shrimp, zucchini, artichoke, and calamari.

BELLO is also committed to serving a range of spectacular vegan and vegetarian dishes.  “If vegans and vegetarians come to my restaurant, I want them to eat as well as guests who are eating meat and fish; anything else is unacceptable” explained Chef Sandro. Options will include Arcimboldo, with perfectly cooked seasonal vegetables and heirloom beans, pasta Pomodoro with 3 textures as well as seasonal vegetable appetizers like Kubocha squash prepared with 3 techniques.

Dessert allows guests to end their meal with Pane E Nutella, featuring a Nutella foam; Zeppole with mascarpone cream and apricot puree; and a Terrine of seasonal citrus fruits.

For more information about the restaurant menu, hours and reservations, please visit

BELLO by Sandro Nardone is located at 1200 Bison (at MacArthur) in Newport Beach.

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