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“Authentic Italian lunch” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Bella Italia

La Bella Italia
10 Nevis Street | Petone, Wellington 5045, New Zealand
04 566 9303
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Ranked #159 of 648 Restaurants in Wellington
Price range: $5 - $22
Cuisines: Delicatessen, Italian, Café, Pizza & Pasta
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Reservations, Late Night
Description: From the moment you step through our door, you will feel like you are in Italy. A unique combination of a Restaurant, Cafe and Retail shop, La Bella Italia in Petone, Wellington was born from director Antonio Cacace's passion to educate Kiwis about the beauty of traditional, authentic Italian products and cuisine.
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Authentic Italian lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

Awesome lunch in a real Trattoria... gorgeous food and authentically Italian, cannot fault it. The waiters are all Italian so it seems even more authentic. I had the Risotto which was immaculate and my partner had a fish pasta - absolutely divine, I was quite jealous. The desserts are divine so save room.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    30
    17
    14
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Rushed and over priced”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We have visited La Bella Italia several times and have enjoyed the experience; we always try and order something different from the menu each time so we can make sure we do not miss any gems. It may have been the weather or the time of day. We arrived around 8pm, yes it was stormy outside but the restaurant was quite full. These were early diners as we were soon only one of four tables left. Our starter came promptly; it shouldn't take long for an anti-pasta anyway. No sooner had we finished and the plates cleared then our mans arrived, hardly time to swallow the last bite, no time to stretch out, savour the wine and warmth or even attempt to digest the first offerings. The chicken on polenta was a disappointment, for some $30 it was a poor show, the polenta far outweighed the rest of the dish, was stodgy, slightly grainy and lacked any flavour, wall paper paste that had congealed came to mind, it did leave a cardboard taste on the palate. Due to the two courses arriving in quick succession it left us with the feeling that everyone was waiting to go home, come on it was not that late. Lost a little of its' magic that night.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaBellaItaliaNZ, Manager at La Bella Italia, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear Graham,
thanks for your review which we have read carefully and that has given us the chance to address issues mentioned with our staff. Reviews like yours help us to keep focusing on what we do everyday and especially on the service we offer. Antonio Cacace also follows very closely these types of comments as he is the first who wants his customers to have an enjoyable experience at La Bella Italia. Antonio would like to invite you any night we are open, even at 9pm. Please confirm with us if this is possible as Antonio would like to be there. you can contact us at ciao@labellaitalia.co.nz
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Featherston, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“I love Italians”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

with 35 friends I celebrated my 70th birthday.I was in a wheelchair. The restaurant is one of my favorites in Aotearoa. The staff, ambiance, food . . . belissimo! I felt treated like a King for a day :)
All my friends sang, played instruments and other customers joined in, as did the staff. My 40th was at Rost Bif in Sydney, my 50th at Chanterelle in New York, my 60th at Hal's Bar & Grill, Venice, ca. So Saturday continued he custom. Awesome.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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2 reviews
“Tuesday at La Bell Italia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013 via mobile

Stopped for lunch. Had the Regina pizza - very very nice recommended wine was excellent. Coffe is just right. The place is so Italian.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Cold Petone”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

Lunch at Bella Italia: It was cold, and no apology or explanation given. Fast good initial service, but poorly organized with no printed specials menu and no specials prices.

The waiters failed to convey our order to the kitchen and after half an hour we were told there was a problem. We spent the next 20 minutes listening to excuses and we were accosted by the manager who rudely told us this was “not their fault”. To us that was the last straw. If it was not their fault, then whose fault was it? We found his approach rude and patronizing. We would have preferred to be treated in a nice, hospitable and friendly way, given the fact that we had to wait almost an hour for two dishes from their specials menu.

The food was competently made but too much salt overwhelmed the fine flavours that should have been there. It was ordinary and not what you would normally receive for that price in Wellington.

In summary, ok food, poor value, poor atmosphere (too cold!) and most of all, rude management ruined our lunchtime. We won’t be going there again. I discovered this review elsewhere: “I complained to the proprietor, but on this occasion his professionalism was sadly lacking. I found his manner to be both rude and insulting, I was made to feel as though the delays were all my fault! I have read previous DineOut reviews from other diners at this restaurant and it would appear that the behaviour I experienced was NOT an isolated incident.”

I have travelled up and down Italy and never had a restaurant experience like this. Perhaps they should change their name to “freezing Petone”.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaBellaItaliaNZ, General Manager at La Bella Italia, responded to this review, May 26, 2013
Dear Customer, sorry for your experience at La Bella Italia. From what you write it seems that you have eaten on a street, instead no, you were inside La Bella Italia, well known for the warmth of the place and its staff. Clearly this was not your case.
we did have a problem with our till's system and the order, that was suppose to go to the Kitchen, did never arrive there.
Apologies were convey to you by the water, supervisor and owners, who are Antonio and/or Luisa Cacace. Apologies were not acknowledged and not accepted.
We are truly sorry when customers don't find in La Bella Italia a welcoming place with outstanding food and service, (fortunately these are very rare cases) but believe us, at times, to make this happen is very hard, nearly impossible.
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