Bellavitae

I literally walk down Minetta Lane daily during the school year.  There had been a restaurant at the end of Minetta for years and years.  One day they closed shop and as always a new restaurant took over the space in no time at all.  Bellavitae welcome to the neighborhood.

Fred and the kids had gone when it first opened up.  They summed it up by saying it was OK not great. 

On a Tuesday night in August, you can generally walk into any restaurant of your choice and get a seat.  Not this summer.  Restaurants are packed.  The streets are packed.  We saw a movie at the Angelica and got out around 9pm.  We were wondering where could we possibly find a place at the bar.  The people were teeming out on to the street of the restaurants on Houston.  Bar Pitti and Da Silvano on 6th Avenue, had people in line and in packs just drinking and waiting for a table.  It was ridiculous.  So, we walked by Bellavitae and there were 2 seats calling out our name at the bar.

There are 2 bars in the restaurant.  One in the front, which does not serve any food except for a few finger food items.  The bartender, who wasn’t very friendly, told us that they won’t even serve silverware there.  Fingers only.  Hmm.  Not a great way to develop a clientele.

We ordered a cheese platter and some fried eggplant.  A table opened up so we moved so we could at least eat something else.  Funny enough the cheese platter had a jelly on it so I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to get the jelly on the cheese with my fingers if I was sitting at the bar.  Also, the eggplant was so fried to a crispy and greasy with a sauce on the side, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to do that fingers only too.   

We sat down and ordered 2 more things to split.  We had a fettuccine with roasted mushrooms.  The sauce was a massive amount of olive oil and some cheese.  The mushrooms were tasty but hard to work in a fettuccine.  You picked up the pasta and the mushrooms were so large that they couldn’t work their way into the fork.  Zitti would have been more to the point, or at least chopped mushrooms. 

We also split the classic Italian cold veal with tuna sauce and capers.  The veal wasn’t that good.  The sauce was to heavy handed. 

The kids were right.  OK, not great.  It is too bad.  The vibe in there is really nice.  Low ceilings, down a small street, intimate setting, etc.  The makings of a good restaurant.  It is in the neighborhood and I do like the place unfortunately the food isn’t worth the journey.