La Bella

   April 9, 2013 11:56 am    0

 

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la_bella_veg_menuThe former Hector’s Restaurant at the corner of 18th and Liberty Streets has been transformed into La Bella; Owner Harry Miller opened this, his newest restaurant, just about three years ago. Bold and vibrant colors inside are a reflection of the flavors in his dishes. Saturday night, Amanda and I made reservations for 6:30. Our server Jill brought us our drinks, and walked us through the specials. The menu is fresh and constantly being updated. If you have any dietary needs, they are more than accommodating. There are plenty of gluten free options as well as a full page of vegetarian choices. Jill is a vegetarian herself so she made some fantastic recommendations to us.

Our meal started with some warm bread and herbed olive oil. The smell of the oil alone made my mouth water so we couldn’t wait to dig in. All of the dinner entrees come with a house salad to start. The salads are basic with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, shredded cheese, and fresh made garlic croutons. All of the salad dressing choices are made in house and are wonderful. Amanda got the chunky bleu cheese vinaigrette and I went with their famous creamy onion Fred. Both dressings were amazing.

la-bella_egg-fried-pastaAll of the pasta that is used on the menu is local from Stanganelli’s Italian Foods. For my dinner, I went with the egg fried pasta. Fresh fettuccine is sautéed with egg and then tossed with whole cherry tomatoes, scallions, spinach, mushrooms, and topped with shaved Asiago cheese. The pasta was cooked beautifully and the egg flavor was exactly what I was looking for. Because of the egg, I initially thought this dish would be like a carbonara, but it isn’t really. There isn’t a heavy, creamy sauce. The dish was actually surprisingly light. The tomatoes gave the dish a bright acidity and the scallions, spinach, and mushrooms gave the dish more body. The gooey cheese was just the right binder to pull the dish together. Amazing, simple, and delicious.

la-bella_futtuccine-alfredoAmanda’s dish was very similar to mine, but only in appearance. Fettuccine Alfredo is about as common of an Italian dish as you can find. A great one stands out though. Amanda wanted to try theirs and it stood out for sure. Jill offered to add vegetables to the pasta to give the dish more substance. A light, flour-less garlic Parmesan Alfredo sauce was tossed with the same fresh fettuccine used in my dish. Tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms were added and really added a fantastic layer of flavor. The sauce was velvety, creamy and coated the pasta perfectly. This really was an amazing plate of food.

Thank you to Harry, chef Mike Augustine, and Jill for such a fantastic meal. I cannot wait to come back and try everything else. The phone number for reservations is 814-456-2244. Their hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. They offer a variety of dishes as well as options for kids. They are also BYOB with a $1 corkage fee per person.

Keep sending me your recommendations for local favorite vegetarian foods to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew – Beard vs. Food

La Bella Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

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