Bella Italia Review, Burton-upon-Trent*
Mr P and I were invited to the new branch of Bella Italia in Burton-upon-Trent for a meal last weekend and we jumped at the chance. I’ve visited Bella Italia quite a few times before but I was really looking forward to this time as there was a new menu on offer. I adore Italian food – mainly because it’s full of carbs – pasta, garlic bread, pizza, gnocchi – delicious!
The new branch is really nicely decorated inside – it reminded me a bit like a cross between Frankie & Benny’s and Nando’s – and the atmosphere was great. It was a Saturday night when we went so it was quite busy but the tables are nicely spaced apart so you didn’t feel crammed in and the noise levels were fine to hold a conversation.
On arrival we were greeted by the lovely staff and shown to our table. We were given lots of attention and recommendations from our waitress, Sophie – she really knew her stuff! For appetisers we were offered some olives which I adore. There was a big portion with three different varieties – two green and one black. The olives still had the stones in, which I’m not overly keen on (my mum and dad bred an irrational fear of choking into me at a very early age) but these were so tasty that I didn’t mind a bit. They were just the right level of salty and sharp, without being too much – they were really full of flavour. Plus all three varieties were really distinctive.
I also decided to have a few cocktails (as recommended by Sherry Scribbles, one of the East Midlands bloggers) and was recommended the Strawberry Tesoro which contains Grey Goose vodka (my favourite!) and strawberry jam. It was really sweet and easy to drink, the flavour of the jam was really intense, it was delicious! I also like it when restaurants don’t skimp on their alcohol and use the nice stuff in cocktails. Later on in the night I also tried an Amalfi Lemonade which included gin, limoncello and fresh lemon juice. This was quite strong, you could really taste the gin, and after both cocktails I was feeling a little merry!
Mr P then (rather predictably) ordered the 8oz sirloin steak which was beautifully presented on a mini chopping board and served with chips, mushrooms and peppercorn sauce. As we’ve discussed a few times on here, Mr P likes his steak really well done and so it can be difficult for chefs to get this right (it must kill them a bit inside!) but this one was cooked to perfection.
I chose the seabass which was a new item on the menu and was served with roasted vegetables and potatoes. The dish is also one of the restaurant’s under 600 calories options, although I didn’t choose it for that reason. The fish was beautifully cooked, flaky and melted in your mouth and the vegetables and potatoes made for a lovely accompaniment. The portions were also a good size – not too much and not too little.
Although we were getting a little bit full by this time, we managed to make a little bit of room for some pudding. I chose the cookie dough lava cake which was basically what I can only describe as a huge cookie pie filled with doughy delicious cookie-goodness served with vanilla pod gelato and caramel sauce. It was super sweet and I could only really manage a tiny bit of it, but it was the ultimate indulgence and perfect for cheat days (ok, everyday). Mr P opted for three scoops of gelato – as he’s a big kid!
All in all we had a fantastic meal at Bella Italia in Burton-upon-Trent and will hopefully be back many more times.
Find out more about Bella Italia Burton-upon-Trent and their new menu here.