Cafe La Bellitalia
In a word: Good 'n' cozy.
The specs: #0220
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at WiSJ 12/21/06 and 4/12/08, Chilimuffin's, Madison Packard, Fearful Symmetries, Yelp, Isthmus, Sara with No H, Ruppert Food Blog 8/22/09, 4/30/10,
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JM ate the meat ravioli with a lemonade.
Josh ate the meat lasagna.
Nichole ate the gnocchi with a hot cocoa.
Stef ate the chicken parmesan.
Both Nichole and Josh took a tiramisu to go.
JM, Nichole, and Stef gave Cafe La Bellitalia an A-; Josh gave Cafe La Bellitalia an A (see our grading rubric).
We met up with some real northsiders at Cafe La Bellitalia on a cold December night (remember those?). It was a great time to be there. Christmas lights, a warm gust of air and (oddly enough) the sounds of Foreigner greeted us as we came through the door.
JM said his rich ravioli dish was some of the best Italian food he's had for the price: lightly prepared and doused with sauce and perfectly absorbent bread.
Nichole's gnocchi were light and flavorful, but (and maybe this is just how gnocchi are) the texture got boring after a short while. The great garlic bread helped balance that, as would have a salad, had she thought to order one.
The lasagna is a favorite of Josh's, so much so that it's his usual dish. Tonight it was really good, as usual. Stef's chicken parmesan had a nice balance of meat, sauce, and cheese - it wasn't "floating" like chicken parmesan can be.
Some vestiges of Ole & Rick's Northside Inn remain, but judging by the happy crowd, Cafe La Bellitalia is well on its way to becoming a cherished part of the neighborhood.