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“Very disappointed”

Bella of Ancaster - Philip Shaver House
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed July 16, 2014

Good and not so great!

First, the grounds and the restaurant are beautiful. The ambiance is charming. Service was excellent, efficient, helpful, cheerful and was probably the hilights of our meal.

We shared salmon cakes with banana relish for an appetizer. This was excellent and I give them a lot of credit for making such an original dish, which was very good.

I was going to get the duck with apple salad but I was warned that it is just a salad plate. It was nice to warn me but that should be made clearer on the menu, which by the way is a little hard to read in the scrolling print. I substituted Monk Fish in Curry sauce. It would have been nice if the menu said it came with rice, as I would have tried to substitute with a potato. It was accompanied by a lot of salad (at least half of my plate) that wasn't too interesting, was difficult to cut into eatable parts, and seemed to just fill out the plate. The fish was a little tough but it was explained that Monk Fish is that way, I don't recall that being the case.

My wife had vegetable Mousakka which she said was quite good. It also came with a similar salad that just filled out the plate.

We didn't bother with dessert as we thought we would only be disappointed. On the bright side they sell merchandise upstairs and in the back, and we bought some original home items that were quite reasonably priced.

For main meals costing $20 to $30 or more I expect quite a bit more. Fish with some nicely braised vegetables and potatoes would have made for a much nicer meal.

The staff try hard, are very pleasant, food is OK, but, certainly not special enough to command those prices. I have had much nicer meals for half the price.

I know the owners tried and they are trying to come up with some creative dishes, but, it just didn't seem to come together for me. If I eliminate the duck and the monkfish, there wouldn't be anything left on the menu I would choose.

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4  Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (70)
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33 - 37 of 70 reviews

Reviewed July 7, 2014

My experience at Bella's this past week was simply superb. The food was absolutely delicious and the service impeccable. I can't believe that hot waitress in the leggings is over 50 years old, wow - she's a beauty and obviously worked and trained in other fine dining establishments, as above average hospitality skills are so rare these days.
We enjoyed our meal, and had a lovely time at this gem of a restaurant with attentive staff, delicious meals, and a welcoming atmosphere that should not be missed on a trip through Ancaster.

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5  Thank Leslie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2014

I normally don't write reviews about Restaurants.....but apparently I should. I dine out often and have been to Bella's several times with several friends and have nothing but great things to say. In saying that, it was much to my dismay that I read a review that was appalling! I don't know who this person was or where they came from (uneducated I suspect because they need to learn the difference between "wondering" and "wandering"). I have to say that the attack on the physical appearance and age of some of the servers made me sick to my stomach. Since when is fine dining all about how old the server is, how much they weigh, or what they are wearing!!! In going to this establishment I have learned that it is a privately owned business by a couple that put their heart and soul into making your dining experience enjoyable. Sounds to me like someone is carrying a vendetta against someone or several people at this establishment.

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4  Thank TLC31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2014

I recently read a very mean-spirited review from CTC Employment..... they apparently liked the food but were very insulting regarding the less than Hollywood physique, and age of their server. What kind of people are they? Have they looked in the mirror lately. This is supposed to be the age of equal opportunity employment, with respect to gender, race, creed, orientation, age and mental capabilities. There are many restaurant chains who boast of their policies, in this regard. Expressions like the "hired help" sounds oppressive....(did he come to your table or to the door to get some water?).... "spaced out person who looked like a soccer mom" (whatever that is supposed to mean)..... they could have been customers or employees.
The food at Bella is delicious and the presentation is beatiful. The Decor is extremely beautiful. The house has been renovated and beautifully decorated, inside and out. The gardens are immaculate and colourful. The staff and owners are extremely helpful and courteous. This place is definitely worth exploring... restaurant, gift shop and grounds.

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3  Thank JUDY M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2014

I went for a dinner and I was surprised to have live jazz. A nice surprise and created a great atmosphere. Was a lovely addition to my experience!

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2  Thank Sara G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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