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“Terrible Management - In Definite Need of Upgrades”

Bella Vista Ristorante Italiano
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Ranked #590 of 2,254 Restaurants in Pittsburgh
Price range: $25 - $65
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: Family owned homemade Italian cuisine using the highest quality of food, full bar, homemade desserts, overlooking the city of Pittsburgh...Bella views.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

My husband and I eloped just the two of us. So, we decided to have a large family dinner for our two families to meet (30+ people). His family from Michigan had never been to Pittsburgh so I knew we needed to have our family dinner on Mount Washington. The LeMont was all booked up. Isabela on Grandview looks like a shed and I was told to expect to pay $100-$150 per person (based on a 30+ person dinner… no thanks). Grandview Saloon’s space left a lot to be desired and you could barely look out the window. Monterey Bay had event space (plain and banquet feeling), but the elevator ride up to the restaurant looking out horribly dirty and run-down windows was a major turn-off. Bella Vista with its mauve color overload had to do… and the space where we would be sitting didn’t have any of the Christmas lights or plastic vines and grapes. It was just a brick wall with minimal decoration and huge windows to let the view shine… perfect. Since none of the other restaurants would really do, I figured how bad could the food really be?

Well, it wasn’t the food that was the worst… it was the management. Not even taking into consideration that they took my credit card multiple times over the months leading up to the dinner just to hold the reservation (they kept misplacing it!) or the fact that they let some random man call in to change the time of my reservation two weeks prior to our date (luckily they did end up calling to confirm the change, which it was NOT ok), but I was asked ahead of time if I would be able to be out of there by 8pm. My reply: “Yes. Not a problem.” Until the night of the dinner, of course, when at 7pm, I was being hammered to review the bill (I hadn’t even ordered my last drink!) and the staff started taking tables away, breaking them down, and vacuuming the carpet! Luckily, half of my guests had already started to leave… but I had until 8pm. Not 7pm. The manager, Rose was so rude and pushy. As my entire party got the picture, they all departed, and at 7:28pm I was left standing at the bar waiting for someone to review the bill with me. Rose was too busy sitting her table of about 10 or so teeny boppers celebrating a 16th birthday! Are you kidding me?! Solely based on an economic argument… I had adults drinking alcohol in your restaurant and we were rudely kicked out for a party of non-alcohol drinking guests?! Where’s the money in that?

On top of that, as the other reviewer took the words out of my mouth, the food is mediocre at best. In all honesty, I actually like the Olive Garden’s food better. Yet Bella Vista charges $30 a plate? They need to get a real chef in there who can focus on real flavor and presentation. Even if the food sucks, if it looks pretty, people are usually persuaded. Bella Vista’s food had neither flavor nor looks going for it.

And the mauve color overload? Really? It’s time for an upgrade. How much does a can of paint cost? If you served my husband and I two more drinks you could have had it covered!

Needless to say, I won’t be returning to Bella Vista and I have already told every person who has asked how our family dinner was that the management was terrible and to never waste their money on a visit.

The best place for a decent meal and view? The bar area in the Grandview Saloon. Less stuffy, but with all the sparkle of the skyline, which is why any person finds themselves on Mount Washington in the first place!

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4  Thank Megan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 - 70 of 108 reviews

Reviewed October 27, 2012

My family and I visited Bella Vista on October 19th and were pleasantly surprised. When we walked in we felt right at home we were greeted by both the hostess and the bartender. Our table was not yet ready, due to the fact that we wanted a window table, so we sat at the bar and enjoyed Cocktails with the bartender Valerie while we waited. When we were seated the view was spectacular. The Service and the food were outstanding from the appetizers to the deserts.We will return again soon !!!! Thank you Bella Vista.

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2  Thank Pasta1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

My wife and I went to this place during our trip to Pittsburgh. When vacationing, we always look forward to at least one great dining experience--this wasn't it. First of all, we made reservations, but when we showed up, it took fifteen minutes (not exaggerating, I looked at my watch) to even be greeted. We stood at the door while server after server walked by us, and even though they knew we were there, they were too "busy" to even make eye contact.

While we were waiting I noticed how the decor came straight out of the eighties. Fake vines and grapes, and cheesy stuff like that. But finally a server, not the hostess, told us to sit at the bar while they got our table ready. The bar top looked like a crummy counter top in a one-bedroom apartment. Also a cardinal sin for me--NO DRAFT BEER! In a "fine dining" restaurant, they only had bottles, and a limited selection at that. The bartender was rude. Servers were using the bar as a stop for dirty dishes--they were hoarding all their dirty dishes on the bar with us sitting right next to that filth!

They finally got our table ready, so we sat down. Even the seats disappointed us. They were probably twenty years old, stained with god-knows-what, and felt like the cheap foam padding you find under a carpet.

The server was great--no complaints.

The food came out in time, but was mediocre. I would compare it to what you get at Olive Garden--not bad, but certainly not unique or outstanding.

OVERALL--Needs the Gordon Ramsay treatment. Update the decor, improve the service, re-do the entire bar area, update the menu.

Pros-good server, but I doubt this is common. Great view.

Cons-Horrible host, mediocre food, horrible decor, horrible bar, too expensive for what you get, uncomfortable seats. NEEDS MAJOR IMPROVEMENT. THE OWNER OBVIOUSLY IS OUT OF TOUCH OR DOESN'T CARE. COULD BE WORLDS BETTER WITH THIS LOCATION AND CLIENTELE. GO ANYWHERE ELSE ON GRANDVIEW AND YOU WILL HAVE A BETTER EXPERIENCE.

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Thank KyleW720
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2012

The view was wonderful and the waiter was attentive. The food was good- the dessert was better. It was a business dinner so the atmosphere was quiet and we could talk and relax. It suited our need to enjoy eachothers company.

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3  Thank delaware33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Spectacular view with amazingly good food and wine!

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4  Thank ljones29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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