We've been fans of Paravicinis for several years, but a friend recommended La Bella Vita and we're hooked. The service is excellent (it's often hit-or-miss at P's), and the food is to die for. We've been back twice after that initial visit and have been equally impressed on each occasion.
They've got an appetizer that's basically miniature donuts with a savory sauce that are very, very good. They are usually offered as a special and aren't on the normal menu, but the chef will make them for you if you ask.
My wife judges the quality of an Italian restaurant on our firt visit by how good they do the very basic spaghetti Bolognese, and LBV passed with flying colors. The Risotto Chianti was also especially good.
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