Boston >Food & Dining > Bella Vista
288 Hanover St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211342.364016 -71.054451
Neighborhoods: Central, North End
My partner and I were wandering the north end looking for a quaint, cozy, romantic place for dinner and came across Bella Vista at 288 Hanover St. Our first impression was a cozy inviting atmosphere. It was busy and took a few minutes to get seated. The staff was friendly, but not overly attentive. The menu had a great selection of traditional Italian cuisine, and very reasonable priced. I ordered the veal saltimbocca, and my partner ordered the chicken marsala. It was one of the best meals I have had in the north end. You can tell it it was made to order with fresh ingredients, and the flavors were in perfect harmony. During our meal the manager came over and checked in on us… She made us feel welcomed and like family. I didn't expect that and was very impressed, considering how busy it was she appeared. I recommend Bella Vista for a great evening out with friends, or with that someone special.
Best Food, Great Service – First let me tell you that my wife & I have been going here for years. The food is always amazing and extremely reasonable. This is the only place I will eat in the North End. A lot of reviewers are telling stories of bad service and food. Do not believe these people. I have been there enough to know these stories cannot be true. This is a small restaurant so if you don't make a reservation you'll most likely have to wait for a table. There's no waiting area inside so you have to wait outside. This is not unreasonable. The staff is attentive but not intrusive and the food is always fresh.
Great lunch, delicious food, unbeatable prices – Bella Vista literally means "beautiful view" and I'm not exactly sure why they named the restaurant that because it has everything but a beautiful view! The food is delicious and the perfect place to go for lunch in the North End. The prices are absolutely unbeatable. While the decor is, well, interesting (somewhat authentic Italian, but when I went two weeks after Easter they still had stuffed animals hanging from the walls), the food is very authentic Italian. I've spent months in Italy, and this food is really what they serve there. To give you an example of lunch prices, for a chicken, veggie and pasta dish you'll pay $7.95, and for a chicken, sausage, veggie, sauce, and pasta dish you'll pay a dollar more. They also have lasagna for the same price, chicken parm and eggplant parm. The eggplant is a scant $5.95 for a huge portion. Along with free fresh bread, it is truly a treat. Bring your co-workers for a nice treat--it is a short walk from the Financial District area of town.
Wonderful authentic atmosphere with great food – If you are easily intimidated and need to feel superior over people, then this is not the place for you. If you love italian food and service that is colorful and passionate, you will find it here. Wonderful value and the food was great. I was sorry that I wasn't in Boston longer and could have gone back. The service was great. It was not fast, I enjoyed the great conversation. The waiter/owner (bald scary guy with lots of facial scars), Tony was a character. Gruff mouthy exterior with a heart of gold. We loved talking to him. He was truly real. What a great experience, even if maybe a little out of the box.
The food is so wonderful that you will want to eat slowly and savor each bite. The lasagna was good even though my husband could only eat half of it. It was the highlight of our trip and I can't wait to go back.
bella vista – So i read all the reviews underneath me about the food not being that good and the management being rude and i disagree. When i walked in we were sat right away in a nice table in the middle of the resturaunt. They brought warm rolls over to the table and we ordered our main meals. I ordered the Chicken Parm and my boyfriend ordered the Veal. It was amazing! The manager checked on us about 3 - 4 times and was very polite. She reminded me of my Nana the typical italian with a little attitude. The atmosphere was very relaxing and made me feel at home. I have been going there ever since and i would defenitly recommed it to people!!
As a Boston Resident.. – As a Boston resident I have eaten in many restaurants in the North End of which there are quite a few! However, when it comes to authentic Italian home-style cuisine Bella Vista is by far the best that I have experienced! The bolognese sauce is just to die for and I look forward to it every year when me and my fiance come here for our holiday dinner. The atmosphere is beautiful, and the room is lit dimly with twinkle lights and candles. If you are looking for a romantic dinner this is a great location. As to the other posts about the owner I think she is one of the best parts about the place, she always leaves you be when you don't want to be bothered and though she's not your typical TGI Friday "perky" waitress she gives the place character. We've been going here for 5 years and we love it!
Good food for a good price. – I was there once with my husband and another couple and two weeks later with a group of girls. Each time the food was wonderful and the house wine was not bad either. The waiter was pushy but we just ignored him. I had the mussels as my main dish and it was delicious and more than enough to share. My husband had the antipasti and it was fresh and also enough to share. The other couple and veal and chicken which they really liked. The hostess/owner(?) was rather surly but aren't we used to that by now. The girls and I had a great time and everyone loved the food. I guess it is what you make of it. Where in the North End can you get a decent meal where nothing is over $16.95. I'll go back again.
all around terrible! – I have never written a review on city search but i read them a lot. I went to this restaurant tonight with my fiance' for our anniversary. We were walking around the north end and just decided to go here...big mistake. It was awful, we waited in the doorway for a while before the woman came and seated us. We didn't get to far into the dinning room either. I pretty much sat in the doorway. I had the lovely view of a fire alarm to my right at eye level. I wish we left at this point, but we didn't. They then brought some no good stale bread over with packaged butter (where's the fresh bread and seasoned olive oil with olives...not here apparently) Then I ordered a salad which wasn't the worst ever but it wasn't the best. For our main course I got tortellini. Ick! It was so bland, I could hardly eat it ( a little over cooked and mushy too) My fiance' got eggplant parm and it was better than mine but still not great. The sauce was no good, definitively from a jar. Throughout the whole night the didn't refill our water once, and it was needed while trying to eat. The manager lady was extremely rude as well. She was insulting the whole night. Looked furious when i asked where the bathroom was, and didn't ask us how things were all night (probably because she knew i would say terrible). I couldn't wait to get out of this place!! Never go here! They should be shut down. As I right this, I feel my stomach gurgling from the terrible food.
try getting to know the owners!!! – i am only a kid and i have been going there for 12 years which is practically my whole life and i love it!!!
i think it is an excellent family atmosphere and i think that all of the food is excellent!!! i go there every time that i am in boston which is frequently and love the staff!!! my family is very close with the owners and we enjoy their service. you dont always get right in because of its popularity level...(by the people who went in and gave them a chance)...but once you do get in, you will love it. oh and after for your dessert, i recommend mikes pastry or pompai (pompai is owned by the same as the bella vista)
Unimpressive – I agree with most of the other reviews: the food is simply not worth the terrible service. I ordered the escarole soup which tasted good but had very little substance (broth, a few tortellinis and some escarole leaves floating around) and the manicotti which had the saltiest bolognese sauce I've ever tasted. The atmosphere was not that appealing and the place was very crowded. I also encountered the "manager" spoken of in other reviews and my impression was the same. When we got to the restaurant, she was standing outside and obviously noticed that we were there to eat but she ignored us. We didn't realize that she worked there so we walked inside and were not attended to until she decided to come inside a few minutes later and grudgingly seat us. She seemed extremely irritated by the fact that she had customers to assist, like she didn't realize that that's the point of having a restaurant... a sub-par experience in a great location - I'm sure that almost all of the numerous other restaurants on Hanover Street would have been better.
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