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“Identity Crisis”

La Bella Vita Ristorante
Ranked #38 of 148 Restaurants in Bar Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Carpinteria, California
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Identity Crisis”
Reviewed June 1, 2014

This review is for the restaurant at the Harborside. Many may not realize that there are 2 restaurants of the same name. One associated with the Holiday Inn and the other is with the Harborside. Some of the reviews I've read clearly have the two confused. The owners at one should consider modifying the name, because I rely on TripAdvisor heavily when choosing a restaurant and almost didn't go in this place due to the reviews.

I came here on two occasions. The first was just for drinks where we met David G. An awesome guy who takes his trade very seriously. He put a spin on the white Russian and added some Bailey's and chocolate syrup. It was so very good. Then we asked him to create something that had some spicy...which he then crafted something I can't remember the name but it consisted of muddled jalepeno's in tequila with some mango juice. It was out of this world and can't wait to try it at home. David's personality and creativity to his craft made us want to return the next night...hoping he would be there again (but he wasn't).

The next night, we chose this place because of David. We sat at the bar and the service was excellent. We actually chose to split a pizza because we watched the chef prepare it right in front of us. It was de-lish! The price was reasonable and we thought the service was excellent. I realize that pizza and drinks don't necessarily paint a great picture, but the food we observed coming from the kitchen and the empty plates going back is a good indication of the quality and taste. When we get back here, we'll come again and try other things. I hope the owners read this and consider modifying the name to avoid the confusion because this is a great place.

David...a special thanks to you - you made our experience worthwhile.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank CA_dreamer__103066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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467 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    263
    121
    46
    20
    17
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
boston, ma
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Perfect view , selection and quality of menu overall service and hospitality”
Reviewed June 1, 2014

The location is very relaxing. The service is excellent. The menu choices are varied to meet any budget , while food presentation is sophisticated and totally delicious. I had a veal dish it was cooked perfect so tender. The calamari was very tasty and very light and not greasy Great wait staff and chef . They aim to please and they do . From sandwiches and pizza to lobster ravioli , they have it all in a beautiful comfortable dinning room with a great view .

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank rest09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Hampton, Connecticut
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Very good Italian restaruant”
Reviewed May 31, 2014

During our recent trip to Bar Harbor, we had the pleasure of dining at La Bella Vita twice: once for lunch, and we came back for a dinner. Many tourists may be put off by the upscale appearance of the Harborside Inn, where the restaurant is located, however, be assured that the staff is very welcoming to all & the attire is tourist casual. We visiting in mid-May, so, granted, we didn't have any crowds or waiting to deal with, so we spent a great deal of time chatting with the waiters. The food was excellent. My husband enjoyed the "build your own pasta dish" for lunch, and he got exactly what he wanted & was very happy. I had the Ceasar salad with grilled chicken for lunch & it was a very generous portion. Dinner was also very good. We tried the chicken piccata & chicken saltimbocca. Both were very good. We ordered the lobster & crab fondue as an appetizer. Although it was very good, Paddy's Pub across the street, part of the same corporation, did make it a bit better & served a more generous portion. The staff is welcoming & accommodating, quite eager to please, maybe to a fault, but we did enjoy our conversations with them. For the price of the meals, the restaurant can do better to throw in a small dinner salad, however, all is a la carte. The restaurant itself is quite comfortable & pleasantly decorated, the view is splendid. We will definitely return to La Bella Vita during our next trip to Bar Harbor.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LindaJohn612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Viva La Bella”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

Great food, not just good, all of it. Calamari were crispy and tasty (not greasy, as someone described). The lobster bisque was excellent - opinion of four of us, and large portions, too. My halibut was cooked just right, and served on a bed of little potatoes, and under a delicious sauce (see pic). Pasta was delicious, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in white sauce. Creme brulee (three flavors on the plate) was great with espresso. Our waiter, Alex, as mentioned in the previous reviews, was helpful and professional. Italian details in the decor, subtle Italian music. The place is on the pricy side (shared appetizer, two soups, pasta and fish, shared dessert, two beers - hundred and twenty five). Splurge a little, you worth it.
Hint: main courses are not served before 5 pm.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tavribruk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New york
Level 6 Contributor
356 reviews
163 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“Good breakfast”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

We were staying at the Harborside Inn and were given vouchers for breakfast during our stay. The restaurant has a nice view of the harbor and the swimming pool.

The food choice was decent; my personal favorite is the stuffed french toast with mascapone cheese. It was delicious.

I also tried the frittata and egg benedicts with lobster.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DavidNYC11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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