San Jose >Food & Dining > Bella Mia Restaurant
58 S First St, San Jose, CA | Directions 9511337.335136 -121.889809
Monday To Thursday From 11:30 AM To 09:00 PM Friday From 11:30 AM To 10:00 PM Saturday From 04:00 PM To 10:00 PM Sunday From 04:30 PM To 08:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Central San Jose, Central
DON'T GO HERE FOR MURDER MYSTERY DINNER!!!! – I attended a Murder Mystery here with my wife and 3 other couples. Parking was a royal pain - especially at the end of the night when valet parking lot attendants blocked our car and made us wait 30 minutes to get out.
BUT - the food was about the same caliber of Marie Callendar's, and overpriced by about 35%. Service could have been better, but the WORST part by far was the amateur Murder Mystery play and actors. OMG...I'm sure my table of friends could have played the roles of the actors twice as well! The play didn't come off smooth and professional. Too many holes in the action and major pieces of the plot were missing. The humor was cheesy and dumb with old, predictable jokes! We have seen better plays at our company Christmas parties where our HR personnel hired an outside company to come in and act. You should save your time and money and AVOID Bella Mia at all costs!!!
EXPENSIVE & HORRIBLE FOOD – We all went for group lunch and ordered all the orders in advance so we dont have to wait long... I ordered Lamonate which was good followed by Calamery (which was COLD and uncooked). In main course I ordered for Grilled Salmon with Rice (Extra well done). Food was cold.. instead of extra well done it was Raw .. completely disappointed... then group ordered different desserts like. Tiramisu (too sweet).. cheese cake and brownie...
I am happy that my company paid for the food else i would be very disappointed as my salmon was for about $18 bucks and very very small quantity...
If you go, please keep in mind portions are very small
Lots of better places to eat in dowtown San Jose! – Bella Mia is lacking overall not in any one area. Our waitress was very nice, but inexperienced. She was not able to describe the dishes at all and knew nothing of the wines. We ordered the Halibut special with artichokes. While the fish was not bad, it came with cold mashed potatoes and burned Swiss Chard (we think) instead. We asked for the artichokes that were supposed to come with it and got a large bowl with a small amount of the soggy artichokes - even the waitress said it was too small. The Duck dish was cold and asparagus was overcooked. But, the Risotto was wonderful! The bread is no longer the pie shaped style it used to be - this time it was cut into squares of fairly tasteless bread, served upside down on the plate by a fairly clueless busboy. The patio where we ate was littered boxes, unused fans and a hose left dripping by the fountain. Overall, for the price, the manager needs to understand what it is takes to play in the big leagues. Right now it is more like an overpriced Ruby Tuesdays. More attention needs to be paid to the details in order to make eating here enjoyable instead of amuzing.
Save yourself – After years of great meals at Bella Mia I was shocked at how disapointing our meals were this evening. My Potato Crusted Halibut (reduntantly served w/ mashed potatoes!) was dry, overcooked and flavorless (clearly previously frozen). The side of vegetables (ordered extra) were very overcooked and uninteresting. The Grapefruit Beurre Blanc tsted "off".The other meal ordered, Pork Chop, was over sauced with an overbearing glop and served with Rissoto riddled with undercooked sweet potato chunks. Ugh! Our waitress, though trying very hard and sweet, lacked the polished service that Bella Mia was known for. In the old days the owner, Bill Carlson and Chef Gary craeated a favorite dining destination. I worried when Bill sold his jewel but was thrilled to hear Chef Miles Meal was at the helm. Now they are all gone and the place has gone way down the pits. What a shame for such a lovely property.
This is a great restaurant! – My lawyer, Jeff L, kept telling me about this place so I had to check it out.
I was very impressed. Bella Mia is probably one of the biggest restaurants in Downtown San Jose.
Who ever designed this restaurant had very good (and expensive) taste. Lots of mahogany stained solid woods accented by heavy brass . I used to be in the restaurant biz so I can appreciate the beauty in a well designed eatery.
The menu is Italian and unlike most "cookie cutter" restaurants that are popular now, from what I learned on my visit, everything in the Bella Mia kitchen is made from scratch. The prices are fair for dining out with some very good filet steak specials on mid-week nights.
While looking over the menu, my usual aperitif, Compari and soda with a twist was served promptly in a heavy rocks glass.
As recommended by the waiter, I tried a new lunch item on the menu, the rib steak sandwich with garlic fries. Grilled on an open flame and placed inside soft garlic French bread. This was one of the best steak sandwiches I have ever had and now I know where Gordon Biersch got the recipe for garlic fries. Try the fries with a side of ranch dressing dip and don't fill up on the warm foccacia bread and tasty cheesie spread before your meal arrives.
The espresso was served as it should be, rich, strong and creamy with a twist of lemon and raw sugar cubes...the best.
The service couldn't be any better for a Downtown restaurant.
I hear Bella Mia is famous for other dishes (scallopini and parmigiana) with many reviews and write-ups from critics.
"I'll be back soon"
Great place for truly bad Italian food – A few weeks ago, I tried out Bella Mia for a dinner with the family. I had heard good things about it and thought that it would be a sure winner. But, even with the receding weeks, my memories of that trauma is as fresh as ever. We arrived for a last minute 7pm reservation on Sat, which I found oddly convenient for a purportedly popular restaurant. We were made to wait a further 20 minutes before we were seated at a booth. Our accomodating and rather cheerful waiter quickly attended to us. He was about the most pleasing part of the experience. He even went as far as to make a special elixir to assuage my sister's harsh bellowy cough. We ordered some of the standards off the menu. I had the cioppino, which is usually one of my favorites and otherwise, we also ordered linguine con vongole and a rib eye steak. The calamari appetizer came first and was an immediate disappointment. It was dry and overly salted. The heavy batter was quite disagreeable. That was followed quickly by our main entrees and the situation fell off a cliff. My cioppino came with what looked like a nice sauce and fresh seafood, but the Dungeness crab legs were omitted. However, when we all dug into our pasta, we were stunned by what we found. It wasn't really pasta at all, or not anything that resembles pasta. It was just a massive sticky-gooey mess. At best we could fork a few strands of mangled noodles. It appeared that whoever had tried to make the fresh pasta had just dumped the finished noodles into a big bowl to clump together instead of letting them air dry to set. Needless to say, we left the pasta portions untouched after we gleaned off the toppings. The rib eye was no better. Rather than a succulent piece of steak made medium-rare, it was a savaged and charred brick of meat. I'm normally a meat-lover, but I could make no progress on that steak. Depressed by the miserable meal, we sulked out of the restaurant, eschewing any desserts they might want to force upon us.
food was pretty good – the food was good but the service was not that great. and i also ordered to-go for lunch and it was NOT good. so only eat there don't order to-go
New owners = better service and food! – Chef Miles Neal ventually ended up at Bella Mia (from CA Cafe). He's kept some of the best of the old menu and added some major improvements. The servings were generous and we had good service. If you use the parking lot BEHIND the restaurant you can get 1 hour of free validated parking. I went with a friend and the vegetarian lasagna wasn't on the daily menu. I said something to the waiter and they made it any way.
Mama Mia Bella Mia! Avoid! – The new restaurant avdertises a new attitude! And the attitude is RUDE! The manager, John M. was down right hostile when we asked for help on speeding up our order. He actually attaacked us and told us it was our fault for the delays! The salads were limp and the soups were tepid or down right cold. My rissoto was greasy and the prawns were not grilled but boiled with no taste!
Was better a few years ago – I have been going here occasionally for the past 4 years and the food is getting worse each time I go back. The owners and menu keep changing! I can't find my favorite dishes anymore. I wouldn't mind so much if the food quality and taste remained good, but it has not! The last time I went, my roasted chicken dish was cold and bland. The only things I like to eat here are the chicken marsala and linguine with seafood in cream sauce. The staff has always been nice and helpful.
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