Review of Bella Cafe and Grille

Mia Messerli, Henry Clay Senior

I visited the new Bella Cafe and Grille in Chevy Chase for dinner the other night, a relatively new restaurant that opened in late 2020. I had never eaten there before, and was extremely curious to see the new place. I made a reservation for dinner at 7:15, and arrived as promptly as possible. 


The restaurant was busy, but the minute I walked in, the host greeted me by my name, remembering exactly when I made my reservation. He was friendly and welcoming, and I automatically knew this restaurant would have good service. Though I had chosen to eat out on the patio, I stepped inside for a good look at the interior. Though small, the restaurant was brightly lit and nicely decorated, with brand new hardwood floors, modern red lamps, and white walls and counters that left the room feeling more spacious, despite the small building. 


The patio atmosphere was nice, and I felt blessed by the perfect evening weather. The waiter quickly brought me a tall glass of ice water, with an eco-friendly paper straw. The waiter was upbeat and made me feel at home, and his mask was always wrapped securely around his face, following perfect pandemic procedure. He passed me the menu, and I ordered a Cafe side salad, with greens, croutons, egg, tomatoes, and pancetta topping. The salad came within fifteen minutes, and I dug in. The salad was my favorite food of the night- it was lightly dressed with ranch dressing, perfectly stirred, and not too bitter. There was the perfect amount of toppings, save for the pancetta, which I found a bit too salty and overpowering. Despite that, I finished the salad very quickly and enjoyed it immensely. 


I then waited for the second part of my order to arrive, a plate of spicy, honey glazed chicken wings with a side of dipping ranch. This took significantly longer to arrive- during the wait, I noticed how busy the restaurant was, and how understaffed it was in comparison. There were only two waiters and one manager I could see, all running around the restaurant trying to serve patrons. I understood why it took them a bit longer to bring out my meal, considering the kind of stress they must have been under. After a half hour, my chicken wings were brought out. They tasted amazing, perfectly flavored and nicely bit sized, a perfect enjoyable meal for one person. The amount of spice was almost perfect as well, only overwhelming me after I forgot to take a sip of water for a few minutes. I ate half of the serving, and saved the other half to take home in a box.

I then promptly ordered a tiramisu to go, and was happily surprised when the waiter brought me a second tiramisu and a complimentary baguette, free of charge. He apologized for the slow service due to the busy night, and I told him he had absolutely no worries whatsoever. The whole experience had been lovely, and I definitely would find myself returning for another dinner.