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“Excellent”
Review of Bella Italia - CLOSED

Bella Italia
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed June 17, 2014

Bella Italia is superb and is definitely a gem in Fort Smith. The steaks are excellent, especially the Chateaubriand for Two! Make sure you call ahead at least 4 or 5 days to make arrangements if you want it, for it requires a significant amount of prep by the chef. But believe me, it's well worth it! Everything we've tried on the menu has been just great, and the owner is a class act.

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4  Thank BDE777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (70)
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51 - 55 of 70 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2014

My boyfriend and I made reservations for this place for Valentines day at 6:30. When we arrived, we were told we had to wait at the bar for a table to open. There were at least 10 open. The bar had a screaming jazz singer who was loud and anything but "romantic". After about 15 or so minutes of waiting (even though we had reservations) we were seated in a dark corner. Another 10 minutes passed before we got the menu and were never asked for anything else to drink besides water. 2 couples behind us waited over 30 minutes just to get their ticket after the waitress admitted she forgot about them. I ordered a portobella fillet steak and my boyfriend a filet mignon. The main dishes were good, but the side items that came with it were not. The bread was cold, as were the vegetables. The salad was the same bagged stuff I buy at Walmart. We left the tip on the credit card and found out today we were charged on our card twice- once for the meal and another time for the meal + tip. We have called the restaurant who said they will "have to call us back".


Overall, this was an average experience at best. The service was the worst, and the reason we werent seated immediately was because there were 3 servers working who couldn't keep up with the flow of customers coming in. Owner must be too cheap to hire extra help.

Do yourself a favor and go to Talianos. It is 50x better with amazing service and food, which is about half the price of Bella Italia.

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4  Thank maceycc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2013

My understanding is that it has been closed off and on for the past few years, I think for personal reasons. It is open at this time. We arrived at 7:00 pm on a Saturday night for dinner.

Pros - the bruschetta was excellent, and the salad was fine, although a bit small. We both had a combo dinner, which featured three kinds of pasta dishes. They were ok, but a little lightly seasoned to my taste, or bland, as my wife would say. My wife had French Onion soup, and she said it was delicious.

The owner is very friendly and accommodating, and made us feel very welcome. Our waiter was very deferential, addressing me as 'the gentleman' and my wife as 'the lady'. He was cordial and friendly, and our orders were handled fine. They have a live singer who is very good, although loud jazz seems somewhat odd for a romantic italian restaurant that is a restored old Victorian manor. He stopped by our table and sang a 'Happy Anniversary' song to us. He was very good indeed.

Cons - we waited for 15 minutes for our salads to come after we had ordered. There were only two other couples in the restaurant so business was very light. My wife had also ordered French Onion soup, and asked that it be served with the salad. Apparently the chef had to make the soup when we ordered, and the waiter held off on the salads until it was ready.

The entrees were not as flavorful as we had hoped. Okay, but not special. It was also a little on the pricey side. We each had a very small glass of wine and they were $7 each.

Summary - it has some of the features of an excellent dining establishment, but didn't quite have it all together. I feel compassion for the owner, who I believe has had medical issues in his family. It must be hard to run a restaurant in a situation like that.

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Thank eet2live
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2013

My wife and I were passing through Ft Smith and looked on Trip Advisor to find a nice quiet place to eat dinner... And man, we found one! Mohammad, the owner, was just the nicest man and treated us as if we were long time friends. The restaurant is in an old restored Victorian house and is rich in charm and atmosphere. Our dinner was excellent and it didn't break the bank. Every once in a while a person finds a gem like Bella Italia... Don't pass this one up!

4  Thank Jody S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We were visiting my husband's mother in Keota Oklahoma. I looked on TripAdvisor for a recommendation for dinner in Ft. Smith. I chose Bella Italia, and am so thankful I did. This was a birthday celebration for my 81 year old mother-in-law.

The Victorian home that houses Bella Italia is lovely as well as the entire neighborhood. The owner was our host and server, and its very obvious he takes great pride in his restaurant. The food is made to order, and you will not find anything that comes out of the freezer or a jar. The pesto on the bruschetta is homemade. The calamari is obviously very fresh and delicately battered.

We had the feta and cream cheese stuffed Filet Mignon. The filet was cooked perfectly as ordered, and was as good as we grill at home - and we can rarely say that about a filet.

The real treat of the night, was the owner asked my husband for his mother's name (behind her back) and Walter, who plays piano and sings in the bar, came across the restaurant to serenade my mother-in-law. It was not 'Happy Birthday' but a lovely song from her generation. His voice is a God-given talent and his personality was warm and gracious. He kissed the back of her hand after he was done singing. I can promise you that my sweet, country mother-in-law has never been to a restaurant this lovely, nor ever been serenaded. It was very touching and special.

Walter began to sing to her again as we were leaving the restaurant and you could still hear him when we were outside heading to the car.

I have eaten all over the world - and never expected to find a jewel like this in Ft. Smith. We live in Texas, not far from Houston. Great restaurants abound in this area, so finding this gem while out of town was very special.

They made an important night in our family's life very, very special.

They deserve to be much busier than they are, and I hope the local community will get on the bandwagon and support this grand, local restaurant.

It will be the only place we ever dine in Ft. Smith going forward.

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

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