Colette du Plessis pays a visit to the ever-popular pizzeria and steakhouse in one, Bella Casa in Bloemfontein, to have a bite and and soak up the chilled-out atmosphere.
Bella Casa is not just a restaurant, but also a place where friends meet for a good time. Although known for its fantastic wood-fired and thin-based pizzas (the quattro stagioni with artichokes, mushrooms, olives and ham and the Siciliana with anchovies, olives and capers are the old faithfuls), Bella Casa also serves beautiful steaks – especially the Black Beast, a fillet served with lemon butter, black pepper and brandy.
The antipasto platter with Parma ham, anchovies, artichokes, fresh rocket and homemade bread would be a good choice for lunch, while pork chops in a cream, apple, sweet mustard and mushroom sauce with some crispy crackling could work any time. As for dessert, the bread-and-butter pudding, flavoured with Amaretto, makes for an interesting twist on a traditional favourite.
The wine list sports some good wines such as sauvignon blancs from Villiera and Robertson Winery, the Fat Bastard Chardonnay and Longridge Pinotage. Also impressive is the fact that every dish on the menu comes with a wine pairing suggestion.
Staff members are very relaxed; perhaps a bit too informal at times. Nevertheless, they know the menu and are friendly enough.
The atmosphere is what you would call chilled-out. If weather permits, ask for an outside table, which is by far the best place to enjoy Bella Casa’s tasty Italian food. The inside dining area is made of four separate rooms, decorated in a rustic style.
If you’re nursing a big appetite, that Black Beast fillet comes in three serving sizes – 200g, 300g and even 500g!