Bella Italia Pizzeria & Restaurant

Bella Italia Pizzeria & Restaurant is located in Bardmoor Promenade at 10801 Starkey Rd Largo Florida. Don’t let the strip mall location and 80’s style interior fool you.  If you are looking for a great New York style Italian meal then look no more.  My parents have been here before and recommended this local place for a dinner out for 5 of us.  We arrived around 6:30 pm on a Friday and it was busy and got busier but we were seated right away.  It is rather small and doesn’t have a waiting area so you may have to arrive earlier or later to make sure they have room.  We were seated directly in front of the counter with cooks behind us.  This was entertaining as they were tossing pizzas amongst the three cooks and the whole restaurant spelled of Italian cooking.

We all got a Caesar salad with our meals.  The salads were a little over dressed but not soggy.  It was bigger than a normal side salad.  We also received complimentary garlic bread which for the 5 of us they brought over two baskets.  Both baskets were a large portion as you would expect if you were at a  Italian’s family house for dinner.  It was buttery, garlicky, and very addicting.  The menu is everything you could want for an Italian meal- pizza, stromboli, calzones,salads, pastas, and specialty plates.  As usual I couldn’t decide between all the options but got down to three:  linguini and clam sauce, manicotti Sicilian style (rolled with eggplant), or shrimp fra diavola.

shrimp fra diavlo

The sauce was thick and garlicky with just a mild heat that does not overwhelm the dish and full of flavor.  I like hot so I wouldn’t mind a bit more spice but this was perfect to accommodate even those who do not like a lot of heat.  There were a lot of shrimp and the pasta cooked a perfect al dente.

The other members of my party all enjoyed their dishes as well.  We had a “small” stromboli, chicken piccata, veal parmesan and 1/2 chicken parmesan with  side of broccoli.  As you can see you get your money’s worth.

bella italia_calzonechciken picadaveal parmhalf parm_side broccoli

I would have liked to try the pizza since it is advertised as New York style.  It did look like NY style pizza and what I did see looked delicious.  I guess that means the next time I am in Largo I will have to order a pizza.  With so many choices to eat in the Largo area you may overlook this place but don’t!  You will not be disappointed.

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