By Amanda Rogers
The Food: Italian, pasta, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, kids menu
The Story: Wear your stretchy pants when you go to Bella Vita II Italian Restaurant and Bar. Dishes are massive and you are going to want to try everything.
A basket of yummy homemade rolls hit the table almost as soon as we did and we plowed right into them, dipping them in oil and vinaigrette.
Deciding what to order - and then trying to eat it all - will be the toughest things you will do at Bella Vita.
We have eaten and enjoyed the tasty pizzas here before, but decided to get adventurous and order all over the menu.
Our new favorite is the Chicken Luma de Mare ($15.99), named for its creator and Bella Vita’s owner. A breaded chicken breast is stuffed with shrimp, crab, mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella and served with either marsala or pink sauce, mushrooms and onions over a bed of spaghetti. This dish could feed a family of four – and they would all love it! The chicken breast rose a good two inches off the plate, and was full of flavor. The creamy pink sauce is a staple at Bella Vita that could make anything taste delicious.
The Chicken Crimora ($11.99) boasted a massive flattened chicken breast, sauteed with mushrooms and red onions in a brandy cream sauce over a bed of spaghetti noodles. The creamy white sauce coats everything with flavor and there will be lots of leftovers with this dish, too.
Fettuccine Moto Mio ($10.50 – add chicken for $3) featured sun-dried tomatoes, onions, artichoke hearts and mushrooms in fettuccine noodles, and more of the amazing pink sauce. The ingredients stand up but don’t overwhelm the meal.
Seafood lovers will enjoy the Lobster Ravioli ($13.50), four ravioli packed with lobster and swimming in creamy pink sauce. This tasty meal was the only one that we didn’t have to take some home, and came with lots of pink sauce, which is excellent for dipping the homemade rolls.
The Atmosphere: If you don’t know where Bella Vita is, you are likely to miss it. Slow down when you’re driving through Rendon and look for it, you’ll be glad you did. This family-owned and operated place has been a favorite for locals for almost two decades. Chances are the owner will be in the kitchen, while her daughters will be waiting on your table.
Small and softly-lit, this is a good spot for a date or a family dinner. Generally quiet and soothing, this 14-table restaurant has Frank Sinatra crooning through hidden speakers.
The Details: 5694 FM 1187, Rendon; 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday. 817-483-0330; bellavitarestaurant.net. Full bar.
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