Why are we writing about a seemingly unremarkable, non-descript, uptown Italian trattoria? Because you might get hungry next time you’re in this part of town shopping for jewelry and tiny dogs.
We’ve been to Bella Blu a bunch of times, mostly when in need of something worth eating near Central Park. Walking by it, you might assume it’s just like every other mediocre, stuffy restaurant around here. Stuffy, it most certainly is. There are pleated trousers and penny loafers all over this joint. Yep, I said trousers. But Bella Blu is actually far from mediocre - as long as you order correctly.
We come here for one meal, and one meal only. A caesar salad and a pizza. I have no idea why, but Bella Blu’s caesar is the best I have ever eaten. By far. And they have a brick oven in the middle of the restaurant turning out pizzas that keep up with some of the better Neapolitan style places in town. Olio Pizza e Piu brags to anyone that will listen about world titles for pizza making, and here’s a tiny joint on Lexington kicking their ass and keeping their mouth shut. We like that. We also like that the staff is attentive and super friendly, but not annoyingly so.
So if Bella Blu is so good, why haven’t you heard of it? Because most of the regulars here have no idea what Yelp or Twitter is, and just wrote Gael Greene a letter instead.
As stated previously, this is the best classic caesar salad I’ve ever had. Each piece of iceberg lettuce is uniformly bite sized, and is dressed impeccably. Also, the croutons rule.
An excellent pizza from Bella Blu’s brick oven. Simple and delicious.
A pizza with tomato, mozzarella, arugula and prosciutto that is a house favorite, and one of our go-tos.
Bella Blu has some interesting pasta dishes, this being one of them. We don’t recommend straying from the salad/pizza combo, but if you must, try this. The scallops are usually cooked perfectly, and the broccoli rabe pesto is unique.
Only at a place like this would we order tiramisu, but people rave about it here. As they should. It’s really good.