When you think of Italian cuisine, the first things which come to mind are pizza and pasta but true Italian dining is about so much more. The love and the passion that goes into every mouthful. At SetteBello, every dish has heaps of both of these.
This gorgeous family eatery is relaxed, homely and welcoming. A place full of laughter, joy and everything Italian. SetteBello translates to “The Beautiful Seven”, a number intimately connected with new opportunities, completeness and perfection. Just the spirit owner Pino De Bennedetto aims to evoke in every memorable culinary experience.
SetteBello is wholeheartedly about family and who better to share a few thoughts about this great new spot than the head of the family, Pino, himself.
Its authenticity to not only food, but life and family.
SetteBello has a distinct atmosphere from the moment you step in. How would you put it into words?
A wholesome vibe of yesteryear. We try to recreate the family atmosphere you find in a small village in Italy where the family is big, loud and happy
Diners across generations frequent SetteBello. What gives it this family feel?
We cater for families in a safe and secure environment plus we have great food and humour.
Tell us why is the Italian Club culture so important to you?
It’s where I grew up and spent most of my time. I played football for Olympia the football club here for 30 years. I got engaged to my wife here and I got married here. My kids are at home here and more importantly it’s a place for likeminded people to get together.
Running a restaurant is not easy. What’s your secret to success?
By loving what I do and knowing I have the support of my wife, family and friends, and when I see someone enjoying the place it makes it all worthwhile.
What are some of the current Italian food trends?
The Neapolitan pizza is taking off in SA (finally) and we are at the forefront of this trend. Gelato is also making a strong comeback.
Where do you think the next big food mecca will be?
I don’t think it’s where it comes from but I think it’s turning towards, wholesome, healthy and sustainable ingredients.
Share with us some of your favourite restaurants at the moment.
Fumo in Pretoria for staying true to the Neapolitan kitchen. The small Indian restaurant down the road, I have no idea what it’s called. Haiku in Cape Town. Fireroom in Bedfordview is also doing a great job.
What do you look for when you hire the amazing people who work at SetteBello?
Hard-working, creative and passionate people who are as loud as we are and love the idea of being true to the ingredients and not really worrying about money.
What are your favourite items on the SetteBello menu?
Pizza, Cannoli and the gnocchi.
What would be one of your dream things to do in the food world?
I would love to open a cooking school that is run by the nonnas. Teaching new generations the flavours and techniques of the past.
After our chat, I had the pleasure of indulging in a table full of SetteBello’s most delicious offerings with Pino and his wonderful wife Eluisa. We shared many a story as the afternoon faded into evening and we left feeling content and already planning what to order on our next visit.
Grazie SetteBello for a delicious day filled with experiencing everything Italian.