Bella Notte Rosalie Review
Cheap and Cheesy
I’ve been to Italy. I’ve had authentic Italian pizza. I don’t mean to brag-well, maybe I do. Just a little. Anyway, I had been craving the sort of thin crust, simply topped, and not overly cheesy pizza that I had indulged in way too often in Italia-the sort that’s difficult to find in ye olde Brisbane. The other week I wandered past Bella Notte in Rosalie, and was delighted to see some diners enjoying what looked like a simple, thin crust pizza.
So, one innocent (hungover) Saturday evening, the pizza cravings struck, and I remembered Bella Notte. I’d often visited their now defunct Park Road (Milton) venue, and before it changed hands it consistently offered tasty food at very reasonable prices. I had a bit of deja vu at Rosalie-the menu was identical to Park Road’s old one. I took this to be a good sign, and happily took my place at one of the indoor tables. What I presumed to be the owner was Italian-also a good sign. Other wait people during the night were friendly and professional, with the only flaw being no water was served and it took a while to get the bill.
The menu covers all the Italian regulars, like lasagna, pizza, and pasta. Other dishes included steak, chicken parmigiana, salads, and paella. I had a craving that needed attending to, so we ordered a regular Margarita pizza ($9.80), and a regular Marinara pizza ($16.80). I wish alcohol hadn’t still been seeping out of my pores, because the range is impressive and cheap. Spirits are only $5, and beer on tap starts from $4. There are a few Sicilian wines, and cocktails as well if you fancy a little Long Island with your Linguine.
The pizzas came out and I was immediately a bit put off. They weren’t the thin beauties I’d spied a few weeks earlier; instead they were on a thick crust, and were so cheesy it was hard to tell which was which. I remained optimistic…until the third bite or so. I was dumbfounded. The Margarita tasted fine enough, but it was so ridiculously saucy and had the thickest layer of cheese. Basil is usually a standout on a Margarita pizza, but I could barely taste the few shreds that were on this one.
The Marinara tasted nearly identical, except for the occasional chunk of prawn, fish, or what we thought (hoped) was a mussel. Considering it was nearly double the price of the Margarita, I was expecting a lot more. It was also drowning in sauce and cheese. The excess sauce had made the crust so soggy, for a minute I thought I was eating pasta.
Perhaps I’m sounding a bit harsh-I’ve had worse pizza. And admittedly, it was cheap. Perhaps if I’d gone in without having seen anything, my expectations wouldn’t have been too high. Perhaps there was a different chef on that night. Perhaps I should harden up and not give such a soft review for once. The experience unfortunately has put me off going back in the near future. I am also quite partial to the plethora of other eating options in the Rosalie precinct.
If you do go, try to get a table outside-the ambiance is much nicer. In fact, there is something totally off about the interior of Bella Notte. D and I pondered, but we couldn’t put our (greasy) fingers on it. Was the music too loud? The lights too bright? The sight of produce and food cartons near the bar unappealing? It was a bit of a mixture that unfortunately didn’t make for a very nice atmosphere. They should take note from some of the places across the road and dim the lights or throw down a candle or two. Heck, even a red checkered table cloth would be cute. That’s one type of cheesiness I can take.
165 Baroona Road
(07) 3505 0991
Open from 7am, seven days a week
NOTE: Bella Notte closed in Oct/Nov 2009.