Dining out in the small towns of California's Central Valley can be an exercise in adequacy. But Bella Notte in Tulare is several cuts above the norm. The setting -- all dark wood panels and leather booths -- suggests a lounge in Chicago and indeed it would not have come as a surprise to find Frank Sinatra in the place a few years ago. It's that good. The chef makes his own pasta and he knows just how to prepare it and the vegetables al dente. He's also a dab hand with the meat and fish. And they bring the excellent olive oil in from Lodi. It's not just the best restaurant for fifty miles in any direction; Bella Notte would be a great place to eat anywhere.
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