Newfound Pizza: Viaggio at Irvine Spectrum Center


Gourmet grocer Bristol Farms recently unveiled a new concept with its Newfound Market at Irvine Spectrum Center: 30,000 square feet of elevated ingredients, a food hall with half a dozen fast-casual venues … and Viaggio Pizzeria, its first-ever full-service dining destination.

With its indoor-outdoor feel and entrances from the market and center, Viaggio feels like a standalone restaurant. Booths along one wall offer a view into the kitchen; tables outside look out onto a lush paseo.

Its artisan pizzas defy easy categorization. The foundation is “a cross between pizza crusts and a French baguette,” says Dan Evon, Newfound Market’s general manager. “Crisp on the outside, light and airy on the inside – it stands on its own.”

The menu is evenly split between red and white pizzas. The red pies, with pepperoni or sausage, remain at the fore; the white pies, Evon says, bring “freedom of ingredients.”

“We want to create something both for the mindful gourmet and the adventurous foodie,” he says. “We find a balance between flavor and excitement to create something … crave-able.”

The white Super Shroom is a mélange of maitake, cremini, shiitake and hon shimeji mushrooms enhanced with fresh thyme and garlic. Red pizzas balancing flavor and excitement include the Hornet, with spicy sopressata, buffalo ricotta, wildflower honey, nduja and bee pollen.

According to Evon, the central bar’s elongated diamond shape “keeps things intimate but easily opens up to conversation with people around you.”

The craft cocktails are next level, too.

The California Poppy – Ammunition Rye, Greenbar Poppy Amaro, Meyer lemon, gentian aperitif and yuzu bitters – uses only California ingredients. The Amalfi Limonata, with Absolut Citron Vodka, offers instant transport to the Italian coast.

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