Roman spring: Bella's readies for Friday opening


The bar will be complete, the tables and chairs set up, and the staff ready to debut Bella's. The Roman cuisine restaurant at 707 West Main Street opens to the public Friday, March 23, and the place was abuzz during the countdown.


"I'm just happy to share Bella's with my fellow Charlottesvillians," says general manager and native son Justin Heilbrun-Toft. "They'll find something Charlottesville doesn't have: authentic Roman Italian."

Owners Douglas Muir and his wife Valeria "Bella" Bisenti aim to provide the intimate, yet family-style dining she grew up with in Rome, with family-size portions available.

So what to order? Specialties recommended by staff include the Calamari Fritti, Zuppa di Pesce, a shrimp-mussels-calamari-clams medley served on fettucine, and Porchetta— pork belly stuffed with fennel, rosemary, sage, and garlic and slow roasted. And start your evening with a Negroni, that classic gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari apertif.

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So looking forward to Bella's grand opening. Their facebook page and posts have made me so hungry! Love Roman food too. Viva, Bella's!

When judging Italian restaurants what matters most to
me is - do they make their own pasta ?