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W.A. Frost & Company

3-03-06
Bella Cucina story

That Little Gourmet Italian Place…

The best description I can think of for Bella Cucina is that quiet little romantic Italian place with the candles on the tables and the bottles in the window. They have a wonderful collection of flavored vinegar and olive oil bottles in the front window. There’s just something warm and inviting about that. It reminds me of my last trip to France. I saw a string of red peppers hanging in the upper window of a house in Candes St Martin. Unlike Bella Cucina, they didn’t invite me in for dinner.

The decorating is simple but elegant with white beadboard wainscoting and a mottled soft orange on the walls. The chair, overhead fans and lights are all black. Another nice addition to the atmosphere is all the booths around the walls. That and the fact that there are no blaring TVs and no smoke. Just a little soft Italian music.

Bella Cucina is one of those restaurants where the servers make it a point to know all their customers. That way, if there’s something special you like done to a certain recipe, or a favorite sauce, they will make sure you get it done that way. This place has no problem with “momma did it this way.” There menu features Gourmet Pizzas, Calzones, and Fresh Pasta, all of which seems to run around 10-14 dollars. However, if you want to know what to start with, they suggest either the homemade Cannelloni or the Chianti Bolognaise. Since they make their own sauces, dressings and even bake their own bread, you’d be hard pressed to walk out disappointed with any choice.

Bella Cucina recommends reservations for parties of five or more. They have a nice selection of domestic and imported beers and a wine list that features Italian, Chilean, Californian and Australian wines. Their specials often feature fish because there is no fish on the menu. They also offer outside seating in the summer with a nice wooded view. Bella Cucina is at 9332 Ensign Ave. S. in west Bloomington and their number is 952-941-3614. They are open for lunch Monday thru Friday 11:00am – 2:00pm. Dinner is Monday thru Thursday 4:30pm – 9:00pm and Friday and Saturday 4:30pm – 10:00pm. This restaurant also offers catering with pick-up or delivery. Please allow three days notice.

Story by Bob McClain

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