Explosion of culinary light from a recently dank corner of the River Walk
Published: September 21, 2011
I didn’t think anybody was still doing raspberry vinaigrette (it appears here on the house salad); a restraining order is hereby issued. Spinach with warm bacon vinaigrette is equally of another generation, and it’s not yet time for a revival. The simple citrus dressing on the Restaurant Week salad of trimmed and sliced oranges with almonds and olives (I’m beginning to think the kitchen needs a few more fall-back ingredients along with bigger plates) worked just fine. An equally restrained dessert, the family-recipe pistachio loaf cake served with chopped pistachios and a satisfyingly dense crema, was refreshingly straightforward. Of another generation or not, it deserves to become a standard. I would be surprised to find that Bella’s rendition of the warhorse tiramisu rose to the same level — though, come to think of it, I was surprised by just about everything else on (well, mostly off) the menu. •
Bella On the River
106 River Walk
A cleaned-up cave on the River Walk, Bella does Continental favorites, but does them well.
Anything seafood save Atlantic salmon, plus Virginia’s pistachio cake. Check specials, too.
Hours Mon-Thu, 5-10; Fri-Sat, 5-11
Prices Mains: $18-$38