"A warm, buzzing and reassuringly authentic Italian restaurant"Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
We’ve said it before, there is no one on earth who doesn’t like pizza. That’s just the way it is. So to think, not so long ago, one of East London’s hippest streets didn’t have a pizzeria/Italian restaurant. Was the world mad back then? Happily, the shortcoming was righted with the addition of Bella Vita, which arrived on Broadway Market to smash all culinary opposition in its way. Now an established presence on the street the smashing is all done and punters flock to the authentic Italian for the pizza, the pasta and the views.
What’s great about Bella Vita – aside from the food, which we’ll come to – is the philosophy. They say they want to create a “warm welcome where you will be created by aromas of old world Italian cooking” and that is exactly how it feels. The heaving location helps but as well, for someone who hates being squeezed in at restaurants, at Bella Vita it feels like part of the experience. The restaurant’s look is a nod to the simplicity of great Italian food, red and white walls, a well stocked bar and a dash of drama in the décor in the form of a vivisected Fiat 500 mounted to the wall.
And so on to the food. On the occasion we visit it’s all about the pizza. Though the menu is full of risottos, tagliatelles, spaghettis and lasagnes we’ve come for the dough. However, we respect the variety available. One of us orders the Piccante and the other has the Franceska. Bella Vita’s pizza will appeal to those who like it soft and soggy in the middle and floury and crisp on the crusts. The dough is salty and springy and each pizza is stretched into a large (often too much for one person) base. The Piccante is for the meat lover. Chorizo, pepperoni, jalapenos and an egg are covered in mozzarella. It’s one of the finest pizzas I’ve eaten. The Franceska is a lighter choice, a pizza topped with rocket, asparagus and gorgonzola. Not as greasy as the Piccante, the gorgonzola mixes with the rocket, tomato and asparagus well. Beyond the two that we tried are over twenty more to work your way through. Wine is served by the glass or bottle at a reasonable £16.50 and Moretti and Peroni come by the bottle.
Bella Vita is a warm, buzzing restaurant and the pizzas are the stars. A meal for two with a bottle of wine for a shade under £40 is a happy price to pay for some ‘old world Italian’ action in the heart of Broadway Market.
T.A.O reviewed Bella Vita on Thu 11 Jul 2013