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“Best Italian food in Raleigh”

Bella Monica Italian Restaurant
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Ranked #78 of 1,450 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Ireland
Level Contributor
246 reviews
190 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Best Italian food in Raleigh”
Reviewed December 15, 2012

The food has been wonderful since day one. About the only negative I can say about Bella Monica is that it's next to impossible to get a table without a reservation - and the bar, where you can wait, isn't particularly big. The same people own Gravy in downtown Raleigh, which isn't quite as good as the mothership Bella Monica.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Jim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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283 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    171
    55
    32
    14
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great food...Great staff...”
Reviewed November 24, 2012

Went for early dinner this past week. We've been here many times in the past and finally I'll post my review. This is also an extremely popular restaurant so you may want to make reservations.
First, I have to say this place may have the best sauce I've had since leaving NJ in '94. They also have fantastic meatballs and pizza. This most recent visit I had the roasted eggplant parm. Very, very good, with the sauce I mentioned above, served over spaghetti. If you're expecting the breaded and fried variety of this dish then this isn't it but I found it to be really excellent. Also had a side of those meatballs. (I can't go here without ordering a side of meatballs.)
They also have little bruchettas that are real good. They have a variety of those and you can make a meal out of just those.
Another thing I like on the menu is the spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. A very simple dish and reasonably priced for the quality.
This is not your typical mom and pop italian restaurant. It's an eclectic decor and menu. They have some traditional items on the menu (lasagne, manicotti,,,) along with some things you won't see in an ordinary italian restaurant.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank raffcat57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebastian
Level Contributor
77 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“I love this place - absolute best gravy. (red sauce)”
Reviewed November 23, 2012

My wife found this place as she is gluten free and she went out with a few friends and brought home the leftovers. I was shocked on how good the leftover gluten free pasta and chicken parm was. So the next time we were looking to go out I had to try this place and it is some of the best Italian food I have had in a long time. The servers are great, and very helpful. The owner is usually floating around as well.

I have yet to have a bad, even mediocre dish from here yet.

If you have the chance - go try them, you won't be disappointed.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Snaglpus00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
40 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Inconsistent Service”
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We have been to Bella Monica numerous times. On this occasion, we visited on a Saturday night, which is always crowded. As several reviewers have noted, one MUST have a reservation on a week-end night. We had a reservation and waited about 10-15 minutes for our table. Considering how crowded the restaurant was, it wasn't an inconvenience.

The server was friendly but not overly so. We all ordered wine and were somewhat surprised when the server brought a liter of red wine and a glass of white wine. The three that ordered red wine had not all ordered the same wine. Why the server even brought a liter when the two ladies only wanted one glass with dinner was beyond us. Perhaps she was trying to increase the bill. The server continually offered water during the meal, which was nice; however, was somewhat forgetful when it came to bringing other requested items.

Despite the somewhat inconsistent service, the food was excellent. The meat lasagne was excellent as it always is and the pizza entries were very good. The dessert menu was more than adequate and the decaf coffee had an excellent flavor.

Bella Monica has always had good food and if one is fortunate enough to have a good server (there are a few), it is an enjoyable evening and worth going to.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Birdieputt13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wedding Rehearsal Dinner”
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Food was excellent, service was superb! It was simple to set-up our rehearsal dinner with Bella Monica and the Manager/Owner (Arron) was very helpful with choosing a menu. We enjoyed having a family style meal to bring everyone together. Bella Monica kept the atmosphere relaxed and comfortable. Even when the unexpected happen, they went with the flow and handled things calmly. The food was excellent and we took the leftovers home! Our family has been talking about Bella Monica’s food and service since the wedding. Everyone is excited to return!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank M B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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