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“Didn't stay” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Balena

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Cafe Balena
24 N Water St, New Bedford, MA 02740-6333
508-990-0061
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Ranked #60 of 233 Restaurants in New Bedford
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Didn't stay”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

Unfortunately I can't rate the food or drinks here as I didn't get that far into my visit.
See--when I go out solo I don't like to sit at a table. I figured a seat at the small bar, a glass of wine and some good Italian food sounded great---but, the bar was cluttered with menus, coats, glassware and other items.
I stood near, browsing a menu, assuming that maybe someone would acknowledge me and clear a spot for me---3 people passed by and didn't even greet me. So, my Italian dinner turned into a great meal at a place nearby instead.

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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    9
    1
    2
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
New Bedford, Massachusetts
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The Worst.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

This place is seriously the worst....ever. My boyfriend and I decided to give it a try one night because our favorite downtown restaurant was beyond packed. Cafe Belena was next to empty with only one other couple who appeared to only order wine. We didn't even get past our appetizers before we decided we couldn't stand the place. The chef was socializing when we walked in and almost seemed bothered by the fact that he had to leave his conversation to prepare a caprese salad and not one but two different waitresses attended to us making things pretty awkward. It feels strange to complain about such attentive service but it was very uncomfortable to have them constantly hovering. The prices were steep, the food was awful, and the service was annoying at best. Do yourself a favor and go to literally ANY other restaurant downtown instead.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Intimate great Italian influence in the heart of the historic district.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Lovely ambiance,excellent service, very good food. A bit pricey. Chef uncooperative to make substitutions. Need reservations.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The Candleworks”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Restaurant is closed. When it was open, it was a lovely, iconic restaurant where you could linger over a meal.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best authentic Italian in the area”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

Cafe Balena is an authentic Italian restaurant with exceptional cuisine...this is not a meatball and spaghetti joint; features some fine Italian wines; has a friendly and helpful staff.

Visited April 2013
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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