David Cecchini's new spot will offer pies and more.

It’s rare for a restaurant to become a spectacle weeks before its opening, but that’s what happens when you end up hoisting a nearly 6,000-pound pizza oven through the window—the only spot it would fit into the building—of your soon-to-open establishment. That was the recent scene at Cecco Ristorante (475 First St., #9, Solvang, 688-8880), the latest project from Chef David Cecchini (of The Harbor, Nu, and Wine Cask fame). Cecchini has taken over the old Mandarin Touch space and is turning it into a spot that’s found its soul in a wall of family photos that connect him with his Italian culinary heritage. “The menu is the food I like to eat, and it’s what I haven’t been able to do in a long time,” he says. Guests can expect farm-fresh ingredients in classics like hand-cut pappardelle in porcini mushroom cream or salmon alla griglia, seared with caper, lemon, olive oil, and Tuscan kale. Then there’s the gas/wood pizza oven, the source for “authentic, Italian wood-fired pizzas like the ones you’d find in Naples.” Further plans include a tasting room for the wines he’s been making at the Palmina facility in Lompoc and an authentic gelateria across the courtyard. Target opening: the New Year.


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