Bella Blu

4.4
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1071 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
The memorable Northern Italian Cuisine makes this Upper East Side restaurant special. The Spaghetti Lobster is the classic signature dish of this Mediterranean treasure. The Wine Spectator awarded extensive and serious wine menu is carefully selected by owner Enrico Proietti. Very often a private wine tasting is happening at the corner table
making the wine list more notable every season. The one of a kind brick oven offers a variety of dishes, exceptional pizza and foccacina rabbiola that is hard to find in this city. For something sweeter-the deserts are impressive! The atmosphere is charming in this power playing neighborhood.
What 1071 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
Food
4.4
Service
4.3
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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M
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3Food4Service4Ambience3

Too cramped. Too noisy. Too expensive. (e.g., we asked for some garlic bread and received 4 thin, tiny ovals of bread dusted with garlic, for which we were charged $10)

L
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

Just ok. Food was undercooked

JO
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Wonderful!!!! Life is Chula!!!! #lifeischula

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SJ
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience4

Title of review... DON'T GO TO BELLA BLU ON A HOLIDAY. My husband and I went for lunch to Bella Blu on Valentine's Day, one of our favorite restaurants when we go to the museums nearby. We were looking forward to their pizzas, which are always delicious and we were told that they were not making them that day. We overheard a conversation at a nearby table between a waiter and a customer (who was also looking forward to the pizza and was disappointed when told there would be none) where the waiter pretty much indicated that on holidays they don't offer the pizza. Lunch cost us $187 (including a bottle of wine), so I gather this is the reason behind the "no pizza on holiday" rule.. customers will spend more money if the pizza is unavailable. I am going to think twice about lunch at Bella Blu again. Too expensive!

OT
Manitoba
2 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Outstanding service, amazing food, great wine section!

OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My husband’s birthday.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always good!

OT
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on 3 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

I love Bela Blue. It’s a spot that never disappoints - there is good energy and the food is authentic. Love the murals

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2020
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

$25 a glass of wine. I assume they made a mistake on the bill. Fish was terrible- should have been sent back. Otherwise fine meal

TI
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2020
Overall2Food3Service3Ambience3

Bella Blu was more like Bella Blaaah. While the staff were very accommodating, the digs are fun and the food is passable, it would be a fair value if it were half the price. For a price point $130 for 2 people: 2 simple salad appetizers, a mushroom fettuccine, a single size pizza and 2 beers, I expect a whole lot more. The ingredients were standard fare, the execution nothing special. They need to kick up the food significantly if they're expecting people to shell out $33 for a mushroom pasta. We have a pick of Italian restaurants with far better food for half the price. That said, the service is notch higher than places for half the price, but after all we didn't go to eat the service! This one's a pretender rather than the real deal.

JE
1 review
Dined on 31 January 2020
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience3

While Bella Blu is usually a dependable and delicious choice in my neighborhood, I found the service and noise level quite unpleasant this time. Not up to par unfortunately

OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 27 January 2020
Overall3Food1Service3Ambience3

The chicken Paul lard was rubbery

DS
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 25 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

A reunion with a high school friend was made so pleasurable—the pasta was perfect and service attentive and kind.

A great luncheon!

LM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 24 January 2020
Overall2Food3Service1Ambience2

The waiter kept coming over to have us pay the bill and we felt we were being rushed out

j
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on 23 January 2020
Overall2Food3Service2Ambience2

They are so rude. Always make you feel unwelcome always make you wait after they’ve made you guarantee with a credit card. Better values in the neighborhood

CR
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on 23 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Fabulous meal, excellent service, great location

n
New England
4 reviews
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall3Food4Service3Ambience3

Waited 30 minutes even though we had a reservation
Found a piece of plastic in our pizza but they gave us a new one. I didn’t like my entree and they removed it from the bill. Overall, the food was great and the customer service was good because they righted their wrong. Not running back but would probably try it again.

JU
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall2Food1Service1Ambience3

The service was inattentive. My tuna main dish had to be sent back. My friends veal was tasteless.

JL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Super food amazing service able to satisfy a picky eater. Bravo to all

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 15 January 2020
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience5

As noted, the lunch was wonderful. My one issue was that I had specified “birthday” on my opentable reservation, expecting something special when our dessert arrived. Sadly there was nothing, not even a candle.

TB
New York Area
47 reviews
Dined on 11 January 2020
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience3

Service was pretty chaotic. Waiter obviously forgot our wine order, so the bottle came after out appetizers and after we reminded him. Bread came at the same time as the appetizers. Food was good with one exception - half the roman artichoke appetizer was too tough to chew and it was swimming in olive oil. Bill was pretty steep too.

AA
Denver
15 reviews
Dined on 9 January 2020
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience4

Fun atmosphere
Good food
Friendly service
Important institution on the UES!

n
New York Area
254 reviews
Dined on 7 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Best pizza! And they will "customize". SO good!
Fresh salads and lovely pastas.
Authentic waiters. A real hot spot in the neighborhood!

A
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on 6 January 2020
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience1

In the past I have loved this restaurant but the last 2 times I have been there have not been a good experience. This last time, when I had a 7:30 pm reservation for a table for 2 and arrived precisely on time, I was ignored for 10 minutes before I was seated and 20 minutes before we even had water. We decided to leave and were accommodated very courteously at another restaurant nearby without a reservation. I don’t think I will go back here again, definitely not with guests.

EB
Cleveland
63 reviews
Dined on 5 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was delicious! Fettuccini special with porcini mushrooms.

m
London
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

I love Bella Blu!

Ambiance is cozy, elegant and trendy.
I would have less tables, though, they are to close to each other.

We have been in NY only for few months and been to the restaurant 3 times but... we are treated as old customers


Food: the best italian we had in-the city. Fresh and authentic.
Pizza dough is crispy outside and chewy inside.
Artichoke salad is to die for
Desserts seem to be done in the kitchen (I tried my daughter’s tiramisu and it was above average)
Plate with home made cookies is lovely.

Wine list is excellent but they dont have everything that is listed , lol)

LL
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on 4 January 2020
Overall3Food4Service4Ambience4

food was very good but not a good value for the money, my salad was too small and expensive.

BF
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on 3 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Consistently good food and service

n
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on 1 January 2020
Overall4Food2Service4Ambience4

Great atmosphere very good service. The hors d'oeuvres were good but the main causes that we had to fish in a rack of lamb were really underpar. The two fish dishes were not finished by the eaters for they really are not that good. This was quite disappointing. Probably best to one of the pastor and the more standard Italian dishes then try the more classic non-Italian dishes at this restaurant.

SW
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on 1 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Consistently serving excellent food with wonderfully warm atmosphere.

CW
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 28 December 2019
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience4

Great food!! Everything we ordered was delicious. Waiter was very knowledgeable and friendly. Restaurant was crowded and a bit noisy, but the ambience was pleasing. Highly recommend the veal ravioli. Will definitely go back again.

OT
Memphis
63 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Chose this restaurant for a quick light pretheatre bite and its location near Hunter College. Delicious food and drink at the bar. Many locals frequent this restaurant and bar. Friendly and fun.

LC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent food.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 24 December 2019
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience1

Terrible !!!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on 20 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Bell Blu is a fun small bistro-like restaurant where friends gather for a meal. It doesn’t disappoint the food is reliable and the atmosphere is lively.

t
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 20 December 2019
Overall1Food3Service1Ambience1

From the moment my friend and I walked in we were treated rudely. After 5 minutes of standing in the crowded entrance and being ignored we asked to claim our reservation and be seated. Menus were thrown on our table. We had to ask for the wine list and we are well dressed seniors. The tables are too close to each other, the staff is rude, the place is noisy. The food was okay, if overpriced. Other patrons were given plates of cookies after their meals. We were not. When the bill was presented we asked why we were not told of specials before we ordered. The surly waiter said it was because we did not ask for them. It was clear that the "regulars" are treated well with hugs and friendly conversation. I have never experienced this type of restaurant where it was very clear I was not wanted. I will never go back.

WN
Tampa
88 reviews
Dined on 17 December 2019
Overall3Food4Service3Ambience3

Bella Blu is a favorite holiday lunch spot. This time it was disappointing. We were seated at a cramped table for 2 when the restaurant had plentiful 4- tops that remained unoccupied during the entire time we were there. Then there was the speed of service. They served the main course as we were finishing our appetizer and then never checked on whether our dishes were satisfactory. We used to have a leisurely late lunch during the holidays but we can get the same experience we received today at any restaurant in NYC.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 15 December 2019
Overall1Food3Service1Ambience2

Terrible restaurant, rude waiters , bland food , over priced ! Stay away !!!

T
New York Area
87 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2019
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience2

Too crowded.....they overbooked tables therefore, long wait and rushed service.

OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on 15 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We have been in NYC 4 days...this has been our best restaurant experience. Truly outstanding flavor, genuine professional Italian service. Loved every moment.