If you are on the fence regarding what to do on Valentine’s Day, here’s a suggestion! Pizzeria Ortica is offering a special menu with items only available that day. Executive Chef Justin Miller has created some great small plates and entrees for this special day and you won’t be subjected to a prix fixe menu like so many restaurants will be doing on February 14th.
I was able to preview some of the dishes featured on the Valentine’s Day menu including Housemade Ricotta-filled Mozzarella ($9), an insanely flavor-popping appetizer heavily scented with lemon filling my olfactory senses with citrusy aromas. Whole leafs of Italian parsley and basil accompanies as well as breadcrumbs for crunch.
If you’re a fan of pasta, look no further than the Cavatelli ($16), nodules of al dente pasta in a borlotti bean puree with morsels of bone marrow dotted within. Beautiful rounds of thinly sliced scarlet turnip grace the plate and crispy pork cracklin’ tops the dish. The decadence of bone marrow adds another dimension to the already creamy puree while the turnip adds a freshness to each mouthful.
There is also a house-cured bresaola on the menu — not quite ready yet on the day of my visit, but Chef Justin showed it to me anyway.
One of the entrees offered is a Braised Beef Shank ($35 for two) with the complex flavors of sofritto and topped with a bone marrow gremolata to-die-for. The entire shank sits on a bed of polenta and a very generous portion even for two.
If you want to order off the a la carte menu, it is also available and includes pizzas from the wood-fire oven such as Escarole ($16) with fontina, mozzarella, escarole, Crimini mushrooms and Calabrian chilis. Escarole is from the endive family, but much milder than the endive itself. It reminds me of a cross between romaine and endive. This vegetarian pizza is so tasty you won’t even think about the fact that there is no meat on it.
Reservations are highly recommended! Also, keep an eye out for Pizzeria Ortica’s during Orange County Restaurant Week, I am excited to try the porchetta dip in the works for that menu!
650 Anton Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626