Italian for "beautiful night," Bella Notte is aptly named. This family-owned restaurant serves generous portions of the home-style cooking of chef Ramon Aguirre, whose authentic preparations contributed to Bella Notte’s designation as a "place to eat" in the Sunday New York Times
in 2003. Thoughtful service, a refined atmosphere and a well-chosen wine menu round out the reasons for visiting this West Town spot.
A recent expansion has made the space larger, but not less intimate. Request a table for two along the restaurant's perimeter and begin a leisurely meal with assorted antipasto, raw oyster, roasted red peppers or bruschetta. A wide range of soups and salads also prove to be excellent starts; try the classic caprese, broccoli or asparagus (wrapped with proscuitto, topped with roasted red peppers, blue cheese and olive) salad. Entrees, available in full and half orders, include pasta (homemade cavatelli, rigatoni and ravioli), lamb and chicken marsala, pork chops vesuvio and lamb chop oreganato.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Schwartz