Friday, 2 December 2011

Munchies on Maryland.

Bella Vista is an Italian restaurant located at the corner of Maryland and Wolseley. Not a flashy joint from the outside, and covered in graffiti, the Bella Vista is exactly what you would expect it to be once you’re inside the front doors. This neighborhood restaurant has a hippy-ish lounge with a vintage bohemian feel.
A relatively small dining room with a lounge filled with what appeared to be regulars; there is something about the place that gives you the feeling like you’re at a family-run establishment. We sat at the bar, this way we could keep an eye on the hockey game and watch the jazz band set up their equipment for their first set. We had to wait for ten minutes before we got stools and the lounge was equally as busy as the dining room. Underneath the one large television showing the Jets game there was a small VLT area hidden from rest of the lounge by a curtain.
We ordered a pitcher of the only beer they carry on tap to drink. A local beer, Fort Garry Pale Ale, was fresh tasting and wet our appetites. The service was casual, as our server seemed to be chatty with all of her tables, giving the impression that Bella Vista is the kind of place that has its loyal patrons.
We sat for a few minutes with the menus closed before the server from the dining room noticed us and in an almost panicky but sincere manner, told us that our server shouldn’t be too much longer, asking if there was something she could get us to start. We decided on a large caesar salad, which we split three ways.
The salad portion was generous, which provided each of us with enough to be satisfied. The dressing is made in-house, and is perfect for anyone who is suffering from a cold; the sharp and tangy house signature is extremely garlicky with a blue cheese undertone. I had a good feeling about the pizza after tasting the salad.
A large Bella Vista was the right amount for three hungry adults. This thick crust traditional style pizza is the type of pizza you eat with a knife and fork. The toppings were piled high and there was no shortage of mozzarella. For dinner we switched to wine, the house red, which is the only wine on the menu that comes by the glass. The house red is an easy-drinking well-balanced wine that complements the spice of the pizza, a smooth finish with a hint of cherry.
The facilities were clean and small. There was lots of parking on the street and the parking lot behind the restaurant fits about ten cars.
The damage on the bill was 60 bucks for three people to eat one large caesar salad, one large house pizza, a pitcher of beer and a glass of house red each. The Jets had won the game and the Jazz band was ready to play. Bella Vista is a relaxing and casual spot where you can enjoy traditional homemade Italian food at a reasonable price.