New development in a small older downtown is often met with a lot of resistance. When a new retail/residential complex came to Loveland last year, we were hopeful that there would be some great benefits to all the construction and mayhem – Bella’s was it! Situated in the “Sweetheart of Ohio”, this new downtown Loveland Italian eatery is a block from the Bike Trail and on the first level of the new Loveland Station development. With indoor and outdoor seating, along with an ample outside covered bar, there’s an atmosphere to please everyone. The modern and simple interior is comfortable and fairly casual. You could easily stop in while running errands in shorts and a t-shirt or dress it up a bit and enjoy a night out. Either way, you’ll love the food and great selection of wine and beers.
There was a short wait on a Tuesday night – encouraging for a new place. We selected a glass of wine and one of the 20 beers on tap and were seated within 15 minutes. There’s a great selection of traditional Italian appetizers – nothing out of the ordinary, but plenty of choices. We started with Stuffed Mushrooms which were filled with sausage and provolone and served on their house-made marinara. They were perfect bites, had just the right amount of stuffing and perfectly complimented by the sweet acidity of their house red sauce.
The selection of entrees varies from a selection of homemade pastas, traditional meats, sandwiches and a a daily special. Everything coming from the kitchen looked delicious. Although food wasn’t coming out at a fast pace, I’m sure they’re still adjusting in their opening weeks. We ordered the Fettucini Alfredo with Shrimp and the Chicken Saltimbocca excited to try some classics from Italy. As expected, it took quite some time to get our food, but the service was good and the atmosphere relaxing for conversation and drinks. My wife loved the Saltimbocca which was served on top of creamy polenta. It was juicy, salty, caper-y and very good. The polenta was a little stiff, but had good flavor. Overall a very solid dish. My fettucini was fresh with beautifully made pasta and a rich alfredo. It was a little heavy on the butter, but overall rich and creamy. Perfectly pink tender shrimp were abundant and delicious as well.
If you’re in the area and looking for something beyond chain Italian restaurants, I highly recommend coming here. They’re figuring some things out still, but I’m confident this place will get better and better. Stop by and sit at the outside bar for a few small plates and cocktails or plan a dinner out with friends. Currently only serving dinner, I hope they open for lunch hours soon as well. There’s something for everyone at this new local hotspot though – so don’t delay getting here! I’m excited and optimistic for their success – read more about them and view their menu at bellasloveland.com.