Il Barone Chicken Parmigiana - pounded breaded cutlet baked with Parmigiano and mozzarella cheese in a fresh tomato sauce - costs $24. (Barbara Venezia, Daily Pilot / July 17, 2014)

The restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m. It is closed Sundays.

The interior is elegant with an Old World feel. The food is exquisite.

We started with the prosciutto and melon, which features imported prosciutto, melon balls and mozzarella, which were quite good, $16.

Other appetizer choices include peppered mussels or clams, Mediterranean mussels or Manila clams, white wine, parsley, cracked black pepper, $14.

There's also bruschetta, homemade ciabatta, fresh chopped Roma tomatoes, Parmigiano reggiano, sweet basil, $10.

On the salad menu we tried the mixed salad, $11, baby kale, bibb lettuce, shaved fennel, Champignon mushrooms, Parmigiano reggiano, imported red apple cider vinegar, Sicilian olive oil.

The caprese salad, $15, includes fiori di gioia mozzarella, cluster tomatoes, basil, arugula, aged balsamic vinegar and organic olive oil.

On the pasta menu is spaghetti chittarra carbonara, $19, homemade, square-cut spaghetti, pancetta, sweet onions, egg yolk and Parmigiano reggiano, which was yummy, but I took half of it home. In hindsight it would have been better to share this dish since it was rich.

Other choices include grilled salmon, $34, Scottish salmon, roasted baby heirloom tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and organic olive oil.

For veal lovers there's veal and prosciutto, $28, veal scaloppini, prosciutto San Danielle, sage and European butter, as well as osso buco, $42, braised veal shank, minced veggies, white wine and saffron rice.

And leave room for dessert. Choices include chocolate lava cake, $12, hot flourless chocolate cake, zabaglione and vanilla gelato.

We loved the Grandma's Mascarpone and pistachio cake, $12, sponge cake, mascarpone, mocha moose and pistachios.

I enjoyed both restaurants, and the Italian food in each is distinctive.

More Barbara's Bits & Bites next month …

BARBARA VENEZIA, whose column appears Fridays, lives in Newport Beach. She can be reached at