Being a resident for many years of central New Jersey, we think we have the best Italian food outside of Italy, right here in our area. While visiting with family in the Saratoga area, we asked to dine at one of their favorite Italian restaurants. The choice was Bellini’s Italian eatery located in the Price Chopper Plaza conveniently located near the highway 85 bypass and New Scotland Rd., Upon entry we were pleasantly greeted by the hostess and directed to the full bar or a few high top tables just to the right of the entrance. Just to the left, we could see the wood-fired pizza oven with tasty looking pizza being tended to and a coffee and desert station with mouthwatering cakes on display. Within just a few minutes, we were seated in one of the booths that seat four people. The booths surround the warm and comfortable dining room. Tables for larger parties are located in the center of the room and were full of diners of different size parties. A private dining room in the rear of the building was also in use during our visit.
Our prompt wait staff quickly provided us with menus, nightly specials, fresh bread and dipping oils. A great way to begin our food journey while we looked over the wine list and menu items. We began with Bruchetta ($9.95). Basil tomato and Fresh mozzarella served over fresh bread and a drizzle of a delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Another appetizer ordered was the Veal Meatball ($8.95). The “50 year family recipe” the kitchen created made great use of pork, beef and veal to produce a wonderful, softball size meatball, served in the house marinara sauce with a ball of fresh ricotta cheese and sliced fresh bread. Both appetizers were visually beautiful, well prepared and met our strong desire for two, great starters to be shared by our party of four.
Dinners orders were the Bolognese ($14.95), meat sauce with veal, beef and pork, Stanislaus, CA tomatoes and shave Parmigiano served over campanelle pasta. An order of Shrimp Fra Diavolo ($18.95) Seared shrimp, roasted tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and fresh mussels served over linguine. The dinners were delivered to the table and each dish had tremendous visual appeal. First bites brought big smiles from those waiting for these well-designed entrees. Again, the combination of meats melded wonderfully with the house marinara and pasta in the Bolognese dish. The Shrimp dish was expertly prepared without the loss of the seafood flavor or over seasoning by spices. Throughout dinner, we observed the white jacketed chef visiting the dining room and the owner/manager checking on tables of diners for their comments and satisfaction. This type of professionalism in the restaurant trade is both recognized and appreciated by seasoned diners and newbie’s as well. A wonderful touch that added to the evening.
Great looking desserts including Torta Di Nocciola ($6.95) Rich chocolate cake layer with ganache and hazelnut mousse, Mousse Trio ($6.95) Three flavors of homemade mousse-Chocolate Kahlua, raspberry & pumpkin and a classic tiramisu($5.95) Classic Italian dessert made with ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese. Due to full bellies, we will try these during next visit. This is great Italian meal in an unexpected location in central New York. I would greatly appreciate a Bellini’s location in our town to ensure our boasting rights of great Italian food.
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