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About
From the moment you step through our door, you will feel like you are in Italy. A unique combination of a Restaurant, Cafe and Retail shop, La Bella Italia in Petone, Wellington was born from director Antonio Cacace's passion to educate Kiwis about the beauty of traditional, authentic Italian products and cuisine.
PRICE RANGE
US$4 - US$20
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch
CUISINES
Italian, Pizza, Cafe, Mediterranean, European
FEATURES
Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Street Parking, Free off-street parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Parking Available, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (474)
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278
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
278
115
47
15
10
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Reviewed 5 days ago

We were a party of 21 for lunch. Service was prompt even though the resturant had few spare seats. As normal the food was well prepared and presented. the platter I ordered for 4 was made generous and colourful and made up of quality meats,...cheeses,vegetables[some pickled] and breads. The pizza area,Ice cream serve over and the serve over selling cheeses and meats make it an interesting place to visit.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?
Reviewed 1 week ago

We had prebooked but due to a cancelled flat viewing we were nearly an hour early. The owner was lovely about this and seated the 3 of us straightaway. Having eaten here before we knew it would be great and it was. Crepes, pizza and...ravioli all were amazing, true Italian flavours shone through. Service was slick and friendly. The owner took the time to ask if we were ok which was nice. Son had a take out tiramisu and we took 2 lemon chocolates. Love this place, bought pasta from the shop and had for dinner that evening. One of our favourite places when we come to Wellington.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?
Reviewed 1 week ago

Where to start? probably from the beginning, but firstly comment that had eventually left this cafe on what was thought to be "good terms" and not intending to share a recent unforgettable experience on Tripadvisor. However.... a guest observed the owner's outrageous outburst & thought...it appropriate to comment on their personal experience. Amazingly the owner was briefly "Sorry if you had a bad experience" & then continued with a narration that was a total fabrication of the truth as to what occurred & his perception of"interesting couple" who where "told to leave and not waste any more of my time". So..... one weekend towards end of November we decided to treat ourselves out for breakfast. Where to go? there are a number of pleasant, good, even user friendly cafes closer to where we live, but decided upon a 35 min drive to La Bella Italia in Petone. What a huge mistake. One of the "interesting couple" ordered scrambled eggs & myself poached eggs & side of mushrooms with a very clear and succinct request for 'PERFECTLY COOKED POACHED EGGS". My husband obviously heard what was requested, not so the waitress it appeared. What are perfectly cooked poached eggs? according to a search on the net "firm whites with runny yokes". This is what I expected. No way in the wide world did I order overcooked poached eggs. Someone got it very wrong, certainly NOT myself. What was served were severely overcooked hard poached eggs that were inedible. Attracted attention of waitress who had taken order advising the eggs were overcooked & reminded her of what I had asked for. Took up offer of replacement as certainly not going to eat what had been served. Next eggs arrived also unbelievably severely overcooked. The owner's wife walked by where we were sitting so politely asked her if this was what poached eggs should be like ... no she agreed....would I like some more she offered. Shortly after both owner and wife approached the table. Shockingly was told that I had asked for "well done poached eggs".... Again reiterated what I had asked for were "perfectly poached eggs". The owner then, with aggressive body language, commenced to yell at the top of his voice to leave/get out in such a manner that was beyond bullying, extremely threatening, unacceptably aggressive, totally intimidating, extraordinarily offensive. Although his aggressive outburst could not help but be overheard by any customer in the cafe, this appeared to be of absolutely no concern whatsoever to him. Neither the waitress or those we personally noticed in the kitchen appeared to be of New Zealand or European descent. English was not the first language of the waitress and quite possibly some or all of the kitchen staff either. I believe? the owner's wife (who did not accept payment) was quite embarrassed with the husband's outburst, suggesting what was requested was lost in the translation. This was possibly the case? or had it been that the waitress and/or kitchen staff were simply too terrified to own up to the truth. Quickly looking thru Tripadvisor for La Bella Italia, it is apparent that anyone who has posted anything that is NOT complimentary receives retaliatory comments from owner/management that they are either not telling the truth or have never set foot in La Bella Italia. Nothing is ever the fault of the owner or staff. Get a grip La Bella Italia. Amazingly customers actually know what they have ordered, what is wrong with the food you have served & even where it is they have eaten. Leaving this feedback now secure in the knowledge that we would never want to set foot in La Bella Italia again, which no doubt will be very welcome news to the owner. A little courtesy and respect costs nothing.More

Date of visit: November 2020
Helpful?
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We popped in for lunch without a reservation and the La Bella Italia was packed. Service was prompt and the food and wine delicious. We had fillet steak with anchovy butter with crispy potato and salad, it was perfect. The lamb chops with smashed potato...and a rustic salsa verde was also great and a generous amount of olive oil. The wine recommendation was spot on and the coffee was as good as I can remember. There was also convenient shopping metres away from the table and very helpful staff. We can't wait to return.More

Date of visit: December 2020
Helpful?
LBIManagement, Owner at La Bella Italia, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hi Ross, Glad to hear you had an enjoyable experience here. We look forward to your return and trust your next visit will be equally enjoyable.

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We booked our work lunch for 12. The food was amazing as always and the service outstanding Luisa is such a wonderful host. We preordered pizza and platters for the table, honestly they make the best pizza I have ever had, I think they should...be moved well up the world ranking! Thank you so much, it always feels special, but at the same time very relaxed, cannot rave enough about La Bella, thank you, Sally and NickMore

Date of visit: December 2020
Helpful?
LBIManagement, Owner at La Bella Italia, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hi Sally and Nick, so pleased your experience at La Bella Italia was fantastic. We work extremely hard to maintain the excellence you write about. Look forward to having you here soon.

Reviewed 10 December 2020

Recently five of us visited La Bella Italia for lunch at 12.30pm (booked weeks prior).We arrived by 12.35pm, ordered wine, mains and dessert. About 1.50 pm, one of us still finishing dessert, a waitperson told us we would have to leave in a few minutes...as they needed one of our tables for another group. We expressed our annoyance but agreed to leave shortly. After a couple of minutes the waitperson reappeared with another staff member, ordered us to leave straight away, started clearing our table then shifting it. We complained again to no avail as we hastily grabbed our coats and bags and headed off to pay. Again, at the desk, we complained to no avail. Outside the door the owner asked how we had enjoyed our experience so we told him how annoyed we were at being treated so rudely and that we would not be back.This was met with the comment that one and a half hours was plenty of time to have lunch and he didn't need our custom. anyway. There was no effort to placate us at any stage.More

Date of visit: December 2020
Helpful?1  
LBIManagement, Owner at La Bella Italia, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Carolyn, If you want to write a review you need to write the truth. In this time of the year it is extremely busy for us. When a booking is made or when customers walk in they are all told politely we need the...More

Reviewed 5 December 2020

Was at La Bella Italia over very recently and witnessed a scene which was beyond belief and totally unacceptable. A man, we presume was the owner? was berating dinners who apparently must have said something about one of the breakfast meals that he didn't want...to hear/accept He ordered them in an extremely loud voice and threatening manner, that could not help but be heard by everyone at the cafe to "get out and never come back". We had partly overheard what appeared to be calm conversation with member of staff about whatever was wrong, then this man appeared. Honestly this situation left me gobsmacked and would certainly never want to come back again. Have never left feedback on Trip Advisor previously. Could not recommend this place to anyone.More

Date of visit: December 2020
Helpful?1  
LBIManagement, Owner at La Bella Italia, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi There, Yes that man was me the owner and I am sorry if you had a bad experience. It was interesting to deal with this couple that twice asked for well done poached eggs and both times sent them back to the kitchen. The...More

Reviewed 8 November 2020 via mobile

It pays to book ahead - always busy and with good reason. Our group of 4 had arancini & bruschetta for starters. Tasty! Our mains were beautifully prepared & flavoured. Our choices of lasagne, porchette, tagliata (steak) & fettuccine arrived at the same time -...perfect. The balsamic glaze on the steak was a brilliant touch. Real authentic pasta, pizza & Italian meals made by talented people. Finished off with a divine Flan di Cioccolato. Service is friendly. Takeout is same quality as dine in. Never had a bad meal here - probably never will!!More

Date of visit: November 2020
Helpful?
LBIManagement, Owner at La Bella Italia, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thanks Garry. Always a pleasure having you.

Reviewed 28 October 2020

Awesome food and service! We have been visiting for years. Just love going, food and service always great, friendly and relaxing atmosphere. Love Antonio and the team!

Date of visit: August 2020
Helpful?
LBIManagement, Owner at La Bella Italia, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thanks Louise. Love having you here too.

Reviewed 18 October 2020

After reading all the reviews we were expecting something quite outstanding for our date night. On this occasion we found the food to be just average, and perhaps a little under-seasoned. The seasonal vegetables was just a plate of broccoli, which was disappointing, and a...bit lazy. The biggest concern - and it really took the glow off the evening - was that we felt rushed the whole time. The waitress was very keen to take our order, asking to do so within a few minutes of us sitting down. She came back no more than two minutes later, and again about two minutes later. In between these visits another waitress also asked if we'd like to order. There was a gentleman hovering around looking at what was going on with the staff. My wife felt creeped out by this as it was quite obvious and intrusive. It felt like the staff were being pressured to rush. The people at the table next to us left at 7, it was quickly reset, and another couple was seated immediately. This was a bit disruptive to us, as the tables for couples were too close. After we'd just finished desert, my wife had literally just put her spoon down and the waitress swooped in to take her plate a few seconds later. It was a bit of shock. My wife spoke to the waitress to say she had to slow down, but I am not sure she understood what the issue was. It really was rather rude. Also, in this day and age (and at this price level), what large restaurant has a credit charge surcharge and no Paywave? I thought that the long printed surcharge notice by EFTPOS machine was a bit over the top and unfriendly. Perhaps the focus here is on volume, rather than the overall dining experience. We've eaten here before in larger groups and found the service and food to be OK each time, but we won't eat here again just as a couple.More

Date of visit: October 2020
Helpful?
LBIManagement, Owner at La Bella Italia, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

I personally think the only thing you really didn't like was the surcharge and because of this you came up with this long review which doesn't reflect the truth. Merry Christmas.

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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
2 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from jaypot2015 | Reviewed this property |
I'd resume yes, but unsure. I've read a newspaper article recently about problems the owner has had with both his restaurants (Wtn and Petone) with changes to accommodate licencing laws.
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LaurelT72
5 November 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Venderina | Property representative |
Hi Laurel, no, we are not open on Christmas Day. we will be closed on the 25th and 26th of December. all the other days and all the evenings of December we will be open. Thanks Ciao!!
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