November 24, 2017
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  • The bruschetta napoletana is homemade bread topped with chopped tomatoes marinated in garlic, olive oil and basil.
    The bruschetta napoletana is homemade bread topped with chopped tomatoes marinated in garlic, olive oil and basil.
  • Bella Italia offers good, old-fashioned, hearty spaghetti with meat sauce that is not too sweet and not overly spicy.
    Bella Italia offers good, old-fashioned, hearty spaghetti with meat sauce that is not too sweet and not overly spicy.
  • With fresh spinach, sautéed onions, bacon, cherry tomatoes and ranch dressing, the California pizza was scrumptious.
    With fresh spinach, sautéed onions, bacon, cherry tomatoes and ranch dressing, the California pizza was scrumptious.
  • The cannoli was crisp, overflowing with fresh cream filling and sprinkled with cinnamon.
    The cannoli was crisp, overflowing with fresh cream filling and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Bella Italia In Arnold, That’s Amore!

Sharon Mager
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November 10, 2017

Bella Italia in Arnold is far from fancy, but it has some fine food, with large servings at great prices. The little treasure is tucked in the corner of the Arnold Station strip center. If you’re looking for a romantic Italian dinner, this may not be your first place to go, but for a casual date or a family night out, this is a great choice.

My dining companion and I arrived late one afternoon, and we were the only customers dining in. It’s very casual; order your food, pay and the staff brings it to you. The restaurant is clean, with about a dozen or more wooden tables. Italian music played throughout our meal. Several people showed up for their carryout items.

We perused the menu and chose bruschetta napoletana for our appetizer and two pasta dishes for our main courses — fettuccini shrimp and scallops for me and spaghetti della mamma with meat sauce for my friend. As we went to the counter to order, we suddenly saw what we learned was a California pizza on display. It looked scrumptious, with fresh spinach, sautéed onions, bacon, cherry tomatoes and ranch dressing, and we couldn’t avoid that temptation, so we added a slice of that for our “pre-appetizer.”

My intention was to take just one bite, but it tasted even better than it looked on display. The crust was exceptional. There’s no doubt it was homemade, with just the right thickness, slightly crisp on the outside. My friend later said this was his favorite part of the meal.

The real appetizer came out next. The bruschetta napoletana turned out to be that homemade bread topped with chopped tomatoes marinated in garlic, olive oil and basil. Once again, the bread was the star. The ingredients were fresh, and the bread stayed crisp.

Our main courses were huge! We knew at once we’d both be taking at least half of the grub home in doggie bags. My fettuccini was warm in a creamy rose sauce that had absorbed the taste of the seafood for a rich, but not overpowering, taste. The scallops and shrimp were both plump, tender and flavorful, seasoned with a variety of herbs that enhanced the dish. This entrée definitely could have been a star at a pricier restaurant for a much higher cost than its $14.95.

My friend’s spaghetti was just like my mom used to make it, and if you knew my mom, you would know what a great compliment that is. It was good, old-fashioned, hearty spaghetti with meat sauce, not too sweet, not overly spicy, just full-flavored and satisfying — perfecto!

Though we were stuffed, with plenty of food to take home, we forced ourselves to eat cannoli, which were crisp and overflowing with fresh cream filling, and sprinkled with cinnamon.

I’ve heard great things about Bella Italia’s pizzas and I definitely want to try some others for dinner one night; the eatery has a wide selection including chicken pesto, caprese, tomatoes and feta, and even a taco pizza.

The menu features a variety of pasta dishes, seafood, veal, calzones and stromboli, subs, salads and a few desserts. There are a few gluten-free options, though they don’t have a gluten-free kitchen, so the food is not intended for people with severe allergies.

The restaurant has both bottled drinks, including beer, and fountain sodas.

For those busy sports nights, or when you just want a break, the restaurant also has family dinners available for carryout with salad and bread for bargain prices.

This little place is clean and comfortable, with great food and a real bargain. Make plans to stop in soon. Buon appétito!


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