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A little taste of Italy!
Bella Italia in General
Member Name: sammy00
Bella Italia in General
Advantages: Food is beautiful, food prices are reasonable
Disadvantages: Alcohol is more expensive, service is slow, you really need to book a table at weekends
We go to out local Bella Italia every month or so and often save up the Tesco Clubcard points which normally knocks off a big chunk of our food bill, but even when we don't have these we still find our selves coming back for more.
Bella Italia is an Italian Restaurant and there are around 70 in the UK. We go to the restaurant in Stafford and the menu's and offers can vary slightly so please bear this in mind, but we have also been to one in Blackpool and London.
The restaurants are rustic in their style. They have cafe style windows often stating dishes on them in Gold writing, and inside the tables are cosy with candles. The restaurants are rustic and homely so are not flashy and modern. Think little cafe in an Italian town rather that a flashy restaurant in Milan.
Belle Italia have an extensive menu and there is everything from 7 selections of Pizza and a wide range of pasta, chicken, steak and classic Italian dishes such as Lasagne and Penne Ricce Marco Polo. There are also a wide range of starters, sides and deserts so you won't struggle to find something you like. The food is always fresh and piping hot when it gets to you. We haven't had a bad dish ever, and have never heard anyone complaining in the restaurant. Everything is well cooked and prepared with style. A particular favourite is the Garlic Bread sticks which are so light and airy you can eat tons! :) Pepper and Parmesan are always offered and if you ask they will supply other condiments such as vinegar or mayo.
The food is reasonably priced with a pizza costing around £9 and a Lasagne costing £9. For the price you get a good sized meal that will fill you up. The drinks menu is more expensive so we tend to stick to soft drinks with a 250 ml glass of rose costing between £5.40 and £6.10. Likewise a 330 ml bottle of Stella setting you back £3.45.
The customer services when you enter the restaurant is lovely. They welcome you and often offer you a choice of tables. They soon appear to take your drinks and food order and will talk you through the menu should you need assistance. I have not found 1 member of staff that wasn't helpful and polite. They will check everything is OK and offer advice but do not do this in an over the top or false manner. On a downside there often seems to be a long wait before the food arrives and in-between courses. And we have got to the point where we book an earlier table knowing we will be there a while. You can easily wait 15-20 minutes before a starter will arrive and then it can be another 20 minutes before the main arrives. Also although your first drinks order is dealt with quickly if you order another that can take forever and a round of drinks have often been completely forgotten about. If you do question the staff they do sort orders out then, but we have got used to the slow service and have come not to mind it at all. Obviously we don't go here if we are in a rush.
Another issue is that you have to really check your bill. We have had an incorrect bill a few times where alcohol has been added, or a drinks order has never arrived but they have billed it. When we have pointed this out the staff are always more than apologetic and have sorted the bill out immediatly. I think both of these issues may be partly due to the young staff that Bella seem to favour and also the fact that we go on a Friday or Saturday night and they are always fully booked. Saying that, the young staff are very polite and helpful and well presented.
This brings me to another point - on a Friday and Saturday you really have to book a table in advance. We have seen many couples turned away after just dropping in, in the hope of a free table.
If you don't get wound up with slow service and are in the mood for a relaxed Italian meal Bella Italia is for you. A great menu selection, plus dish of the day and a cosy setting and some lovely staff make for a relaxing laid back experience.
Summary: You'll feel like your in Italy