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“La Bella Vita restaurant in Rockport, ME”

La Bella Vita & The Enoteca Lounge
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Ranked #3 of 25 Restaurants in Rockport
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Waldo Ave.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We enjoyed dinners,breakfasts at La Bella Vita while at the Samoset Resort recently. The meals were delicious and the service impeccable. Servers were knowledgeable and pleasant. We are looking forward to our next visit.

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Thank Diana U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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383 - 387 of 510 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2013

Sunday brunch here was the finest quality, and includes Champagne and coffie
the change weekly the the carving station was supurb.

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1  Thank mdl41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

While we were staying at the Samoset Resort we ate at the La Bella Vita restaurant and the food was out of this world, the pizza was like the old time pizza done in a brick oven while you watch,the service was great the food was fresh and done very well.

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Thank freako1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

The title says it all. The menu caters to meat- and fish -eaters, and to vegetarians. They also have a good wine selection.

Thank RebDovid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We were staying at the Samoset Resort in early January as a regular getaway my wife and I partake in. We stay at the timeshares that are part of the resort (and which anyone can stay in, when available, even when the hotel is closed off-season). The hotel, itself, had been closed during the off-season for the past four years due to the economy and renovations. What had been a stodgy very upscale restaurant (but with an amazing wine library) names Marcel's as well as a comfy but more downscale bar/restaurant, has been turned into mid-to-upscale Mediterranean. No longer is there a more downscale bar/restaurant.

The hotel has chosen to open up Thursday evening through Sunday afternoons. The more casual side is now Enoteca, which is comfortable with an extended bar plus a lounge area with two TVs (They need to splurge for high-definition programming, as plain digitall programming looks fuzzy and, if not formatted to the 4:3 ratio of standard def programming, everything looks stretched out.). There is live music on weekends as well. Part of where the original bar/restaurant had been is now a very upscale spa, with prices to match.

The main dining room, La Bella Vita, is a mix of rustic and elegance, with two tiers. All tables look out onto the grounds and Penobscot Bay. Unfortunately, the sun goes down early this time of year, so romantic dinners with a view are sort of out of the question. Part of the problem, to me, with the dining room is that all that rustic exposed unfinished beams keeps it from being as elegant is it probably should be for the dining room. Furthermore, the room is so large that even if 4 or 5 parties are eating there, the room still looks deserted. The exception are two private dining rooms which are gorgeous. They are decorated more in line with Enoteca than La Bella Vita. The lights in the room over the dining table are refracted by upside down wine glasses. It's hard to describe.

On the other hand, the entire environment of Enoteca is fresh and refurbished. It's also much smaller and intimate, so you never notice if only a few parties are in there. At one end of the room is an open hearth where incredible pizzas are baked. Try the Umbria, which has wild mushrooms and truffle oil. It was SO good, we had it twice. We elected to eat in the Enoteca part of the restaurant.

We also shared a pasta dish (with homemade pasta) which had a plum sauce and braised shortribs. That was a terrific dish as well. We had a couple of the salads,l and they were both terrific. Finally, the creme brulee trio was amazing and beautifully presented. Three different flavored creme brulees, each in their own channel on a large dish.

Misses? The truffle fries were mealy, mushy. I brought it to the attention of one of the bartenders and he seemed a bit defensive, saying that's the way they were supposed to be, or something like that. I might have misquoted him, but defensive was more of the posture. On the other hand, I also brought it up to the head restaurant manager and he agreed with our assessment. He has been trying to get the head chef to change the source of the fries or get the item off the menu. He took the item off our bill.

Also a miss was a blueberry pie. It was really more of a tart folded up into itself. The pastry was more of a tart/cookie style dough, and rather it being merely a base on which the custard or fruit is sitting, this had a relatively small amount of blueberry filling and a chunk of lemon curd (but not spread throughout). With the tart dough folded all around it, there was literally an inch or more of tart pastry before you got to the measly portion of blueberry. The result was this doughy mouthfeel with little flavor. Disappointing. I'll also say that the bartenders didn't seem to be as thoroughly familiar with the menu items as they should be for a restaurant that is serving up unusual fare combinations.

Still, overall, this restaurant is a great addition to the mid-coast Maine area which is already populated with a wonderful array of mid-to high end dining. With a few tweaks, both Enoteca and La Bella Vita could be 5-star places worth going out of your way for.

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1  Thank AnalogJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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