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“A Pleasant Surprise”
Review of Bella Donna

Bella Donna
Ranked #29 of 45 Restaurants in Pittsboro
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
fearrington village, n.c.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A Pleasant Surprise”
Reviewed April 7, 2014

We have lived near Pittsboro for twenty years but had never tried this restaurant. However, when it was recommended by a friend, we gave it a try and my wife and I were each delighted. The atmosphere was warm and inviting; the service excellent; and the food, though inexpensive, most delicious. We definitely will return, probably for dinner next time.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jim076
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
156 reviews
106 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Good Luck Getting Service”
Reviewed April 4, 2014

My husband and I dined here on a Thursday evening - there were 2 other parties seated when we arrived. We waited at the front desk a bit despite several hosts/waitresses walking by. The hostess asked to wait a moment longer so she could "clean a table" despite there being a basically empty restaurant.

Interior is basic but looked clean and is a step up from their old location in town. We hadn't dined here since 2010, and as locals, we try to buy local and my husband convinced me to try again. Back in 2010 it was terrible. This visit proved nothing has changed.

We waited a long time for a waitress. We ordered the mozzarella sticks as an appetizer. I got the plain alfredo and my husband got a veggie pizza (cheese, ricotta, asparagus, onions).

Our soda's arrived and about 10 minutes later our mozzarella sticks arrived. They looked nice, the sauce was a bright, bright red. No hint of pepper, oregano or other seasoning was evident on sight. The sticks were, mehhhh. The breading had no seasoning at all - no salt or pepper, etc. The sauce was just terrible - no spices or seasoning. It was like a tomato had been squished, pressed, and smoothed out with water.

We then waited for our main courses. And waited. And waited.
And waited.
And waited.
And waited.

About an HOUR after ordering, we finally got our entrees. The hostess who sat us originally brought the food. My husband was given an obviously dirty plate and the hostess took it and said she'd bring him a clean one. She also asked if we wanted fresh grated pepper and parmesan cheese, and we said yes. She said she would bring it all out.

I didn't want to start eating until my hubby was able to eat as well. We were going to share the past and the pizza anyway, so we waited.

And waited.
And waited.
And waited.

Now, during all this time - more than hour - our waitress did NOT SHOW UP, not once, to refill our drinks, check on us, see how we liked the appetizer - nothing. She was a nice woman and I believe the fault is not with the servers but with the training and processes used to train the staff and run the business. It is definitely lacking something.

No drinks. No clean plate. No cheese or pepper. Finally, as our waitress was serving another table, we asked her for the plate, the parmesan cheese, the pepper, and drinks. She apologized for our long wait and brought our drinks, but we never did see the elusive pepper or parmesan. Oh well.

We NEVER saw the hostess who said she would originally bring these items. She was very busy chatting it up with a newly seated table that were obvious friends of hers, and others in the kitchen. Gee, thanks.

Finally, after 15 minutes, we started to eat. The pasta was glumpy and sticky, stuck together in one giant ball of starch. As we took two forks to separate it onto our plates, the clump stayed together in a giant disc. It was terrible. The sauce was ok - it was nothing more than from a jar (or at least tasted like it) and the past was much too over-done. There was no hint of spices/seasoning on the pasta or the sauce - no pepper, nothing.

The pizza: dough was good. I'll admit that. The sauce though - awful. Just awful. Again, ZERO seasoning - no salt or pepper. It was very thinned out tomato - honestly, I said to my husband that it tasted like "used warm dish water" and after a moment he said, "Oh my God, you're right. That is EXACTLY what it reminds me of." Pizza had very little cheese and the veggies were also NOT SEASONED and a bit hard. The asparagus especially was hard.

We didn't finish the pasta or the pizza. After almost 2 hours, we left completely disappointed. It took another 15 mins or so to get our credit card back after paying the bill. The restaurant was NOT BUSY - NOT NOT NOT. A total of maybe 5 tables rotated in and out while we were there in those 2 hours. There is no excuse for the lack of service, and really - don't be afraid of a little seasoning in the food.

We declined dessert - by this time it was past 8pm and we really wanted to get home. Finally.

The food in the 3 years since we've visited has NOT gotten better. We will not be back and we will not recommend to our friends, family, or coworkers. Bill was $41 for 2 diet pepsi's, mozzarella sticks, plain alfredo pasta, and a medium veggie pizza. We did tip the waitress 20% - I just don't think she was properly trained and it wasn't her fault.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Melissa_October
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Best chicken piccata I've had”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

My husband and I have been to Bella Donna's twice since the restaurant moved into new, larger space in Pittsboro. We have had the chicken piccata twice and it has been excellent. The service was also attentive especially on the second visit, a busy Friday night. The waitress was clearly very busy but always kept an eye on our table. They also were very accommodating to one person in our group who preferred who was vegetarian. She was able to choose as many of the fresh vegetable offering as she wanted on her pasta. And, the fresh pasta really made a difference. Our grandson enjoyed his pizza though we tasted it and thought it was just ok. The only slight disappointed was that when I mentioned to the hostess on the way in that it was our grandson's birthday dinner and did the restaurant do anything special as a surprise. She said she would let the waitress know but nothing happened. Many times a restaurant gives a complimentary treat at the end of the meal, even the most expensive places.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dori K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsboro, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
53 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Made to order FRESH Pasta.....”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

The best aldente Pasta. Delicious Pizza and fabulous Marsala meals. Non chain restaurant, local owner (cook) and staffed by family & friends of owner. Cozy small bar & large screen TVs.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Carol M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
97 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“So sorry”
Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

We wanted to give BD one more chance. The original restaurant was so great. When they moved to the new place, we had really bad service and food, and so we waited a year before trying again.
The atmosphere was much better. Quiet, calm. Wait staff friendly and conscientious. However she brought us the wrong wine, then explained she didn't know anything about wine. She apologized profusely. Then we waited over an hour for our dinners. Spaghetti and ribbon pasta. The ribbon pasta seemed to have two different kinds of pasta in it. Half was flat and smooth, and the other half twisted and curly. When we left, my husband commented that we would not be returning, the response was," ok." The host didn't ask why. No one seemed concerned at all. I rarely comment on a bad experience, but this is twice, and it costs too much to try again. The bill was $50.00 for two glasses of wine, one appetizer, and two pasta dinners

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank NancyBsparky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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