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“The perfect Italian dinner for the birthday girl” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Luna Bella Ristorante

Luna Bella Ristorante
6420 Freetown Rd, Ste 165, Columbia, MD 21044-4062
410-531-0250
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Ranked #3 of 224 Restaurants in Columbia
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza, Bar, Sandwiches
Restaurant details
Columbia, Maryland
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“The perfect Italian dinner for the birthday girl”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

It was my sisters' birthday today and I was making dinner plans for her favorite food "Italian". I was considering the safe places but lately a new friend of mine has turned me on to trip advisor to start looking at others' reviews. The last few days it has been incredibly helpful. That is how I found this little piece of heaven tucked away in the back of a shopping center. I have lived here 21 years and did not know it existed. Today I made reservations with Tim, who was so kind on the phone I knew I was in for a good time. As we walked in we were so warmly greeted and then the server was immediately there. Extremely attentive and friendly. We ordered and everyone's food was wonderful. Very nice size portions for the prices. The dessert tray came and there was at least 10 different homemade delicacies . We had the chocolate mint cake. Delicious. Shockingly after dessert Tim came up to the table introduced himself, inquired about the food and then said he would go tell the kitchen staff we enjoyed it. Nice touch because the kitchen never gets the props. Ok our family is hard on a restaurant as we own one in columbia. That being said, if you haven't been here, put it on your restaurant bucket list! It is small and cozy so you should be safe and get reservations. I could find nothing negative to say. We shall be back.

  • Visited February 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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53 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Good Italian Fare”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

This is another of my frequently visited restaurants.

When I was in high school, one of my best friends was an Italian-American, and his parents were born in Italy. His mother's cooking was amazing. She did sauce from scratch, made her own noodles, etc. She even showed me how to cook a few things. Long and short of it is that I know what good Italian cooking should taste like.

For me, this restaurant comes pretty darn close to what I remember. As I've noted elsewhere, I am a vegetarian, but this restaurant has lots to offer! Everything is good, from the salads, the appetizers, the pastas, the pizzas, right on down to the specialty dishes.

Ambiance has been considered at this restaurant, too. The seating is a tad tight, but once you are seated, you'll be ready for an excellent meal.

Oh, and don't forget to have one of their great desserts!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Excellent Food if you don't Mind a Tight Squeeze”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

When I walked into Luna Bella, I was like, how are we going to be able to move our shoulders at a table for four with an infant? The tables are very close and there is barely any room at the entrance to wait so people were hovering behind my husband who was right near the door all through dinner. This added to the wind blowing on him from the door opening every few minutes wasn't too fun! However, even with all of those negatives that would often discourage us from going back, we said that we would because the food was delicious! I had a pizza. I love cheese and it was even a bit cheesy for me, but had excellent flavor and crust. My mother had a lovely scallop linguini meal that she liked. My husband had a wonderful scallop dish with crab imperial on it. The waiter that we had was very attentive and helpful. I did feel bad for the wait staff as they had to squeeze through all of the people waiting. Overall, the food was great, the ambiance, not so much!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellicott City, Maryland, United States
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Tucked away good Italian restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Looking for something unique, informal and not a chain, we selected Luna Bella since it had recently won the Best of Howard award (again). The place is a little difficult to find since it is tucked away within one of Columbia's (in)famous discreet shopping centers.

We went there on a Saturday night a bit after 7:30 PM so had to wait about 15 minutes. The atmosphere is cozy and the place is small. The waiting area is a wooden bench in the alcove (we decided to walk around a bit through the shopping area). After selected a nice Chardonnay, we picked the Shrimp Bruschetta as an appetizer. It was very good - rich and creamy with big chunks of shrimp. Next we had a little shared Caesar salad before our entrees of Veal Dominic and Gnocchi with Alfredo sauce. My veal was nicely pounded and topped with prosciutto and melted provolone. I couldn't really taste the prosciutto which I was hoping would compliment the veal. While it was good with the fettuccine and tomato sauce, it wasn't a standout dish. The Gnocchi was decent as all the pasta is homemade.

We skipped dessert for this trip but hoping to go back and maybe try one of their pizzas.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lambertville, New Jersey
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
“Fabulous Find For Lunch.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Pulled off I-95 when we were heading North after Thanksgiving to visit friends in Columbia. They took us to this fabulous place. New Jersey has a well-deserved reputation for its authentic Italian restaurants. Someone from NJ must have moved to Columbia because there is certainly a fine Italian cook behind this great restaurant. Our friends are regulars and they said it is always busy. We had the delicious lasagna and our friends had a cheese bread and a huge bowl of mussels. The mussels dish was a "Wow" dish filled with piles of mussels and the best Italian sauce (gravy) south of New Jersey. It is in a very non-descript shopping center. Everything we saw come out of the kitchen looked fabulous. If you live in that area, you have a gift from the Italian Food Gods waiting for you. Prices were great. Service was outstanding from a very friendly waiter.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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