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Settebello: A Cute Little Italian Restaurant

Flavorful, albeit salty traditional dishes highlight menu.

While I definitely like to try new and exciting dishes as often as possible, sometimes, the classics are really all that is wanted.

Thankfully, there are a number of places in Morristown where one can get those tried-and-true Italian dishes they have known all their lives. You can include on that list.

This was my first time visiting this cute, almost hidden Cattano Avenue restaurant, which is owned by the same family that owns . That gave me pause at first, only because . When "steak" is in your name, there's something wrong with that, even if everything else about your meal is very good.

Luckily for Settebello, no precedent is set with their name. So, with as little bias due to my previous experience as I can scrub away, I went inside for lunch.

The place was bustling, always a good sign. Waiters moved to-and-fro, as businessmen and women tried to rise above the din of the table next to them, all the while munching seemingly with pleasure at their meals.

My first impression of Settebello was just how pleasing the interior was. There is nothing that particularly stands out here. There's nothing bold. In fact, it looks like the place has not seen a renovation in a long time. And, that is perfectly fine. Like the dishes I ultimately ordered, the place is a classic.

Speaking of the dishes, I opted from the waiter's specials menu, starting with Minestrone soup. What came out was rustic and hearty, flavorful but, oh man, was it salty. Restaurants often have heavy hands with their salt shakers, but this was a little too much, and not necessary. Other flavors were definitely peeking through.

Then came my main course, the classic among classics, Eggplant Parmesan. Again, it had a little too much salt, though not nearly as too much as the soup. The cooks opted to oven bake this eggplant instead of fry it, which lends the dish a softer consistency. I like both styles, and it's really a preference thing over if one is better than the other. It was flavorful, with fresh-tasting ingredients, though I kind of wished the eggplant slices were a bit thicker. Besides cheese, tomato sauce, breading, I want to taste fresh eggplant.

Settebello Il Caffe has a lot going for it. It's a little off the beaten path. For lunch, prices are reasonably reasonable (between $13 and $17 for most dishes). Flavors are strong, the classics well-represented. And, the space is lovely and inviting. But, please, watch the salt, boys.

JKurn January 27, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Settebello has a beautiful and large outdoor courtyard/patio that's surrounded by old brick neighboring buildings. It's nice to eat outside in the summer evening under the stars. I highly recommend trying this!

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