We have been taking a winter break at Newport Coast for the last six years. We discovered Modo Mio on our first visit and look forward to eating there each year. It is situated in an upscale strip mall on the Pacific Coast Highway at Crystal Cove which is between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. There is no view, unless you enjoy looking over the many exotic cars in the parking lot!
The decoration is neutral and the ambiance is "busy Italian". Because the tables are close together and the ceiling is arched, when it's full, as it normally seems to be, the noise level is high. That does seem, however, to be a characteristic of many popular Italian restaurants. There is no outside dining area.
The menu is extensive for all courses. In addition to the menu starters, the chef provides complimentary marinaded mushrooms. These tasty tidbits and the excellent house-baked bread generally have sufficed for starters for us. We have sampled many of the main-course offerings and have never been disappointed. Especially the rissotto, of which there are three choices and a daily selection, is a favourite. Desserts are excellent and the chocolate pecan pie is to die for! Prices are very reasonable, especially for an up-market area.
The wine list, although not huge, covers a nice range, fairly priced with a good selection of by-the-glass choices.
We have always been happy with the service with all the wait staff friendly, efficient and attentive.
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