Hate onions? Put ketchup on your ketchup? We all have unique likes and dislikes, so when you hear about a new restaurant, whether it be from a foodie or someone who lives off of toaster pastries, you don’t know if their tastes align with your own. So, instead of reading a review from one source, take it from four members of our team. Even though we are woefully underqualified to review a restaurant, at least one of us will likely share some of your distinct tastes.
For this issue, the PressureLife crew visited Molto Bene Italian Eatery in Lakewood, Ohio. Gonzalo Egozcue’s petite BYOB joint opened up this past summer and offers comforting savory dishes and cool, creamy gelatos under one roof in Lakewood. We stopped by Simone’s Beverage to pick up a couple bottles of wine—and ran into a pair of women doing the same—before sitting down at Molto Bene to see if the establishment could live up to its name.
Liked: Italian cuisine is my least favorite, yet Molto Bene’s modest BYOB joint curbed my opinion. All the entrees were delicious with the seafood pasta coming out on top for me. However, the carbonara will also put you to sleep smiling. I also don’t like sweets, but the strawberry and espresso gelato worked well for me. “Pomodoro!” If that’s not a term, Molto Bene should coin it. You’re welcome..
Disliked: The house bread was a disappointment. The closest way I can describe it is pita chips. I’d prefer a hard crust with a soft fluffy inside to soak up the olive oil it was served with. The prosciutto pizza also under-delivered. I spent more time fighting with the large slices of prosciutto laid on top instead of enjoying the pie.
Liked: Every entree ranged from pretty solid to very good. I’d actually rank my dish—the pollo a la lucchese—last, although the chicken was still enjoyable. However, it suffered from comparison to the other main dishes, including a deliciously salty carbonara that I could eat for days.
Disliked: The house bread was closer to a toasted focaccia chip, which is not bad by itself, but it seemed like an odd thing to pair with a dipping oil instead of a spread of some sort. The pizza is much closer to a basic, Italian style, at least for the red sauce on ours. I’m usually a fan, but this one didn’t quite do much for me.
Liked: I absolutely loved my carbonara, so much that I have thought about it at least once a day since. It was rich and salty and savory and will definitely bring me back to Molto Bene. I also really enjoyed the BYOB (get twist off caps for your wine!) and gelato—I highly recommend the brie with fig and lemon combination.
Disliked: The prosciutto pizza paled in comparison to the rest of the dishes, as did Alex’s pollo a la lucchese—the dish had an overall sweetness / vinegar-yness that I didn’t care for. And although I loved the small, quaint atmosphere, they would definitely benefit from a dimmer switch to tone down the overhead lighting.
Liked: If I could characterize Molto Bene in one statement, it would be “fresh seafood.” From the mussels to the salmon consumed by a creamy white wine sauce in the linguine al salmone e pistacchi, it was clear that a lot of care was taken in providing fresh ingredients.
Disliked: With so many pizza options available today—hipster woodfired, Super Bowl party delivered, and even frozen and baked at home—a restaurant really needs to bring it! Sadly, it was not brought at Molto Bene, not even begun to be broughten.