The service was outstanding. In fact, it went above and beyond expectations. He was attentive without hovering and would check back to make sure our orders were made correctly. This was appreciated as one of Mel's dishes was wrong. The sauce was too soupy and watery. We brought it to the attention of our server, who promptly took it back after noting that it did look wrong. A replacement of her dish was promptly brought back out and was correctly made. When we got the bill her entree was not on the bill. They had taken it off since it was not correctly made the first time. Needless to say we tipped him very generously for his outstanding service.
We started with one of the specials for the day. It was a crostini with herbed goat cheese, fresh peas, and chorizo with a red wine reduction and olive oil. Everything really worked well. The red wine reduction added both sweetness and acidity which helped cut through the heaviness of the cheese and chorizo. The cheese brought some saltiness to the dish as well as creaminess that off set the texture of the bread. The chorizo had some nice smoke and spice. The peas and the olive oil added some nice "green" flavors that helped elevate all the other flavors. Overall this was an amazing beginning to the meal. It was well balanced and had great flavor.
For my entree I chose another special, duck orecchiette with baby kale, red bell peppers, butternut squash and a garlic cream sauce. There was also pecorino cheese. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the perfect vehicle for this plate. The duck was confit and was succulent and added some richness and saltiness. The bell peppers and butternut squash added sweetness to the entree while the baby kale brought some bitterness that complimented everything else. This was the first time I had ever had butternut squash. The only squash I have had was the regular yellow squash that people usually cook with a little butter. I don't really like that squash. But I really liked this butternut squash. I have since used it in meals at home. Back to this though, it was a very good pasta dish that was very well balanced with a ton of flavor. That duck was the star of the show and everything else either served as its vehicle or supported it. Very good dish.
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For dessert we chose another of the specials, a pound cake with rum soaked pineapples, coconut flakes and coconut whipped cream, with salted, rum caramel. The cake was very dense, but it was delicious with a distinct vanilla flavor. The pineapples were sweet and tart and had a bit of a rum flavor to them. The salted caramel offset the sweetness of the whipped cream and pineapples. The coconut rounded out everything. It was a very successful dish that was sweet without being cloying.
Bistro Bella Vita has a reputation as one of the best restaurants in the city. It certainly lived up to the hype. Great food and great service is a winning combination. Definitely a great place that we will go back to again. Highly recommended.