May 272008

*** As of June 2010, Bella Italian Grill is no longer in business.  This location is now the home of The Tavern Grill***

Cuisine: Italian, Pizzas, Fish & Seafood
Restaurant Features: Bar,Happy Hour, Patio Dining, On-Site Parking

Location: Blaine, MN
Address: 10950 Club West Parkway – Suite 270, Blaine, MN 55449
Links: Bella Website Google Map

Atmosphere: Everything about Bella is sophisticated and lovely! There is a large courtyard complete with full bar and large fire pit. Highly recommended for happy hour, lunch, or an evening with friends.

Inside Bella’s dining room, you can see the details that make this restaurant a step above others.  It is richly and sophisticatedly decorated, with many tables throughout.  My favorite are the couple of giant, semi-private round booths set in the middle of the restaurant.  These booths are perfect for an intimate party of up to six people, as they block out much of the sounds of other guests.

The bar is a giant area situated on one side of the restaurant.  Seats about 30-40 people comfortably.

Menu: Happy Hour Appetizers include Grilled Pork Loin Skewers, Mozzarella in Carrozza, Napoleon Flatbread, Blackened Chicken Flatbread , and Shoestring Fries (all for $3/ea from 3-6pm, 7 days a week)
Regular appetizers include Mozzarella Caprese, Shrimp Cocktail, Sausage and Peppers, Steamed Mussels, Bruschetta, Southwest Rolls, Eggplant Parmigiana, Garlic Cheese Bread, Calamari and Hot Peppers, Breaded Mozzarella, and Spicy Chicken Wings.
Flatbreads include Spinch & Artichoke, Blackened Chicken, Napoleon, and Spicy Shrimp.  There is also a selection of Bella’s Special Pizzas.
Salads include Caesar, Wedge, Bella, Spinach, Della Casa and Midwestern.
Bella makes fresh homemade raviolis daily.  Choices include Butternut Squash in Brown Butter Sauce, Lobster with Lobster Cream Sauce, and Spinach with Ricotta.  The Spinach or Meat Lasagna are also signature dishes at Bella.  Other pasta dishes include Cappellini Primavera, Bella Fettuccine, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Rigatoni with Meat Sauce, Penne Vodka, Linguini and Shrimp, Stuffed Chicken, Linguini and Clams, Field Pasta (with mushrooms in a cream sauce), Spicy Shrimp Penne, or Linguini Basil Pesto.
Veal and Poultry Entrees include Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Champagne, Simple Chicken, or Chicken or Veal Marsala.
Grilled Entrees include Pork Chop, Pork Tenderloin, Top Sirloin, Ribeye, New York Strip and Filet.
Fresh Fish dishes include Chilean Sea Bass, Grilled Tilapia, Peppercorn Crusted Ahi Tuna, Seared Atlantic Salmon, Canadian Walleye, and Australia Lobster Tail.
Side dishes are served A La Carte and include Purple Potatoes, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Risotto, Sauteed Spinach, Grilled Asparagus, Vegetable Medley, and Glazed Baby Carrots.

Price guide: Appetizers $8-11 (plus Happy Hour Specials for $3), Flatbreads & Pizzas $ 7-13, Salads $7,  Pasta $14-25  Veal & Poultry $18-22, Grilled Meats $17-30, Fresh Fish $ Market Price
What we ordered: We arrived during Happy Hour and decided to hang out on the patio for the wine and appetizer specials.  This is the Mozzarella in Carrozza (crispy breaded fresh mozzarella cheese,
wild mushroom ragout & roasted capers finished with Bella sauce).  Very good, but eat it while its hot or the cheese will harden quickly!

The Grilled Pork Loin Skewers (with a roasted tomato chipotle sauce
and served with a Thai cucumber salad ).  These were pretty good, but without the sauce they would’ve been pretty boring.  The salad was god, but was saturated with dressing and slightly on the soggy side.

I ordered the Ravioli Platter, which was considered by our server to be a “must try”.  There were three of each of Bella’s handmade-daily-raviolis.  The first ravioli I tried was the Butternut Squash.  The pasta was made with spinach and filled with a slightly sweet butternut and brown sugar squash, with a buttery pesto sauce.  Very good!  The second ravioli on the platter was the House ravioli.  This was filled with a cream-cheese-like filling and lightly topped with red sauce.  The third ravioli on the platter was the lobster ravioli with creamy lobster sauce.  So delicious! It had big chunks of tender lobster in the sauce and the ravioli itself was filled with a cheesey-lobster mixture that also had a nice twang to it.  The raviolis were on the small side, but the platter itself was more than enough for one person.

Two of my companions ordered the Veal Marsala served with wild mushrooms and topped with asparagus. I did not try this dish, but it looked and smelled wonderful! It was a big hit

One of my companions ordered the Chicken Marsala, served with potatoes, wild mushrooms and carrots in a delicious Marsala Demi Glace.  Wonderful flavor!

Another companion ordered the Chicken Canneloni.  This looked so good that I had to try a bite!  Lots of seasoned cheese, but also a lot of chicken.  The sauce was rich and packed with flavor.  I would definitely order this for myself in the future :)

Service: Our service was very good.  We first enjoyed Happy Hour on the patio.  There was only one server who was also working as bartender, so she was very busy, but kept up with customers very well.  Inside the dining room, we were served by a wonderful young woman named Maria.  She was a big hit with our group! Besides giving excellent recommendations from the menu, she was also very patient and friendly.  I have been to many, many restaurants, and Maria was one of the best servers who has ever waited on me.  We had made a reservation in advance and were please to be seated in one of the large, private round booths.  One thing that I must mention is that although the food was excellent, it took a good 45 minutes to arrive at our table after we ordered.  We did not mind this, as we were enjoying our experience and the good company.
Overall Impression: Fabulous atmosphere, great food but very expensive.  Excellent service.  A good place to go for a special occasion.

  2 Responses to “Bella Italian Grill- Blaine, MN”

  1. the food looks delicious. it’s pretty sad that they are no longer in business.

  2. Bella has the best service!

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