One would expect to only find Italian cuisine at Bella – not true though. A beautifully paired food and wine menu with easy to choose options, starters, wood fired pizzas and even an Italian dessert option or two. Truly a hidden gem and one that falls very well in the budget and location options when looking at dining out in Bloemfontein.
The starter portion of mussels in white wine, cream, garlic and parsley sauce was served with a beautiful home baked bread – hands-down a winner any time of the day while the nachos (a test for any Italian restaurant) had a flair of true Italian Napolitana sauce, mozzarella, cheddar and salsa. True to their nature, a great home-made cannelloni with a spinach and ricotta filling was served with matured pecorino cheese. The chefs truly have found balance in their pizza toppings with a new found favourite to be tried in their Parma ham, preserved fig, rocket and parmesan pizza. This restaurant is tucked away and away from main stream traffic, but oh so worth the effort.
Great efforts were taken here to ensure that even the uneducated wine novice will be able to pair their food with a wine suitable for the dishes at Bella Casa.
Our waitress, Mavis, was a very professional, friendly and tried her best to go the extra mile (which we graciously used when we put here through her paces with the menu explanations.
Relaxed, private and cosy.
Family meals, corporate lunch or dinner meetings, private parties.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
Simple, honest food, and a laidback vibe is what makes Bella Casa an old favourite. The menu includes its fair share of carbs, such as wood-fired thin-based pizzas and comforting pasta, but it also caters for true blue meat lovers.
For a high-protein boost, go with the Black Beast – succulent fillet sautéed in lemon butter and black pepper and flambéed in brandy. If your tastes lean more to the virtuous, good options are the Vegetariana pizza (with olives, peppers, aubergine, artichokes and mushrooms) or the cannelloni (homemade pasta tubes, spinach, ricotta, napolitana sauce, béchamel, and pecorino).
Despite the abundance of rib stickers, definitely leave some space for dessert – the Amaretto bread-and-butter pudding remains a hit.
The variety of red and white wines on the wine list complement the menu well. As a bonus, a suitable wine is recommended alongside each dish on the menu. Highly drinkable craft beers from the Bloemfontein-based Stellar Brewery are also on offer.
Friendly and attentive service, although it can be on the slow side when the restaurant is busy.
Bella Casa is a popular hangout for a mixed crowd to catch up over lunch or after work for a drink and a bite. The outside courtyard fills up quickly in warmer weather, but even when the temperatures plunge it is pleasant, as fire baskets heat up this lively, colourful space.
If you like your pizza with interesting and unusual toppings, try the Pecan Brittle with bacon, blue cheese, poached pear, rocket, and pecan nut brittle.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.