I recently visited the Nottingham branch of the Bella Italia restaurant which is located in the Cornerhouse unit on Forman street, in the city centre. I rarely eat at chain restaurants as I’ve often been disappointed with the quality but having received a gift card for Christmas, it was an ideal opportunity to check out their offering. Upon entering we did have a short wait to be seated as the restaurant was fairly busy and there only seemed to be a few members of staff for such a busy time. However, once we were seated, they were reasonably quick in taking our orders. Overall, the service was polite and quick especially considering how busy they were.
We ordered a spicy ‘Nduja sausage and mozzarella flatbread to share for £7.49, a Calabrese at £13.29 which is a Rigatoni pasta dish with a spicy tomato sauce, ‘Nduja, Basilicata sausage, chicken, red onion, green chilli and mascarpone and Pollo alla crema at £11.79 another Rigatoni based pasta dish which was baked in a cream sauce with roast chicken, pancetta, red onions and peppers. After around 15 minutes our food arrived and my first impressions of the food were good, the portions were good, all food arrived hot and whist the presentation wasn’t refined or anything special you could see that the various elements of each dish was in good proportion.
The Calabrese was a good sized bowl full of pasta. The Rigatoni has a slight bite to it but not too much, helping to add to the textures. The fact that the Rigatoni was larger inside allowed the rich tomato sauce to get inside the pasta well. A grating of Parmesan added a fruity and nutty taste which worked perfectly with the tomato based sauce. A sprinkling of fresh coriander and the crunch of red onion gave the dish a fresh feel and also added to textures. Sausage was packed with flavour and fresh green chillies gave it extra heat. The heat from the ‘Nduja came through well and I was pleased that the saltiness and spice came through well and made for a flavourful dish. The mascarpone was smooth and creamy working well to balance the spicy nature of the meal.
The Pollo alla crema another Rigatoni based pasta dish was again a good sized meal with the Rigatoni having a slight bite but not too much. The sauce made it a rich and creamy dish with the salty, yet subtle in flavour, pancetta working well with this.
The peppers, although cooked, had a lovely crunch which added texture to the creamy dish. The chunky pieces of chicken were tender and moist. The dish itself was served with a nicely browned top from being in the oven and, again, was enhanced with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.
The spicy ‘Nduja sausage and mozzarella flatbread was slightly disappointing as it was too dry for my liking and would have benefited from being served with an oil or balsamic dressing. However, the n’duja on the flatbread was flavoured well and added a nice spice to the bread. It would have also benefited from having more mozzarella on it as this was used rather sparingly, which resulted in a lack of creaminess or taste.
This meal was paid for by myself. However, as always, any reviews are as accurate as I can make them and are a fairly balanced summary of the food and service I received. Reviews will not be written more / or less favourably if they are paid for or complimentary.
Recommended for: Families as it’s spacious ground floor location make it pushchair friendly. Further to this, it’s wheelchair accessible. Their menu also caters well for vegans and those with a gluten intolerance.
Offers: sign up to their emailing list and receive 50% off main courses from their a la carte menu from 12PM daily. They also offer a few selected items on their lunch menu which is served at selected restaurants 12PM till 5PM Monday till Friday but not on bank holiday Mondays. This offer costs £6.99 for 1 course or £9 for two courses.
Location: Bella Italia Restaurant, G4-6, Corner House, Forman Street, Nottingham, NG1 4DB.
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9AM till 11PM, Saturday 10AM till 11PM and Sunday 10AM till 10:30PM.
Phone number: 0115 950 9480