Trattoria Bel Paese
Trattoria Bel Paese

Trattoria Bel Paese

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://trattoriabelpaese.com/
  • Phone: 9082763336
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Saturday - Sunday: 12:00pm - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: BYO Liquor, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Trattoria Bel Paese
Trattoria "Bel Paese" is a neighborhood Italian restaurant where an unforgettable meal will transport you to Italy. Experience old fashioned Sicilian dishes and Italian specialties exactly as made back home for generations. We offer daily specials such as Ossubuco, Braciola, Tripe, Snails, Lamb, Octopus and more! We hope to see you soon!
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Trattoria Bel Paese reviews from OpenTable diners
12 reviews since June 4, 2014
Overall Rating3.4
  • Food3.8
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.1
    Noise LevelModerate
50% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (8)fit for foodies (3)romantic (2)great for lunch (2)kid-friendly (2)special occasion (1)good for groups (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Great find
    Tomasz
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We went there on a whim without hearing anything about it. The food was excellent, even compared to all the good italian restaurants in New Jersey. The "Bel Pease" is absolutely the dish to get. The owner walked around and was very personable and attentive. Will be returning soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great New Spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Awesome Food at a affordable price. The service was top notch and I have no complaints whatsoever. A great Find a real keeper
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mediocre at best!
    JohnY
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Quality of food has seriously gone down hill. Example: frozen commercially prepared calimari. Very disappointing as this restaurant was previously exceptionally good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Beverly
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    I wrote this review before and not sure why you did not receive it. This place is wonderful. Service is great and they are very attentive. Nice crowd and they do not rush you.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • local favorite
    NYCfoodVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We enjoy coming here for a good meal at a reasonable cost . It is BYOB, which we also like . We have tried several things on the menu and have never been disappointed. The owner is very friendly and usually comes by the table to check on the food & service. It is very casual , nothing fancy .
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 7 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 4, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.1
    • Food3.6
    • Ambiance2.9
    • Service3.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 37 reviews are from the Trattoria Bel Paese reviews archive.
  • Still one of the best deals
    HudsonJoe
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    TBP has been under new ownership for over a year. Many of the dishes are the same and the quality is very good. Rollatini still among the best I have had. The stuffed artichoke was huge, but a little bland. The Paella was a big portion, the seafood fresh. The fettucine bolognese was excellent, the sauce not overpowering, the pasta al dente perfect. The prices are very affordable and the restaurant continues to stand the test of time, as others have not. Still recommended!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It's All About the Food
    Wychwood
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    On the recommendation of a friend, we visited Trattoria Bel Paese on a Sunday evening. Located in the heart of Cranford, it now occupies the space formerlly owned by The Pink Submarine. While there is some minimal Italian decor, it is all about the food: a huge portion of lasagna generously covered with meat, penne pasta tossed with peas and ham and grilled eggplant and mozarella. Everyone took half their dinner home to savor on another day. Expresso and a mixed berry tart followed. A perfect evening. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Keep going back
    NYCfoodVIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    The first time we went there it was a Groupon gift . We liked it very much & we have been going back ever since . It's small , but very convenirent ,and good parking as well. The food is very good . There is not much atmosphere, but if the food is good & the prices are reasonable who needs atmosphere ? It has become very popular & now I always make a reservation ahead.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just ok.
    Lookelsewhere
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Appetizer of clams and mussels was very scimpi. I've had better at other restaurants. Pasta ala Norma which is what I ordered which is pasta with eggplant was tasty but the eggplant was almost non existent, should have definitely had more eggplant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • nicely served meal which was
    Dave
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    nicely served meal which was well prepared abd reasonably priced. Always a nice place to eat
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great fresh food
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Go for the food, it is a wonderful experience of fresh made pasta and all other other fresh ingredients. The decor is terrible. Very dated with lighting that I am sure was out of somebody's basement or garage sale. Not sure if they are trying to "set a mood" but with weird lamps and even a spotlight, they only mood is rummage sale. However, the food is good enough to overlook the decor disaster. I will go back- often but, I will never book a party or bring anyone to impress there. I will keep it as my neighborhood gem- for the food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not very good
    foodmaven
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    The chicken cutlet was extremely tough and had to be returned. The sauce was salty and the vegetables were overcooked,
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent meal, reasonable prices
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    I was reluctant to go to this restaurant because some reviews criticized the service. We had an excellent meal on a Saturday evening. The place was packed but we had excellent service and a very good meal. The staff helped one another so our order was taken promptly, our dinners arrived in a reasonable and we were visited often by staff who asked if we needed anything. I would definitely go again and recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food!
    JoeyG
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    My wife and I took my parents this past Saturday night and they really enjoyed the food. My father was very impressed!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Groupon
    jscnotes
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    Food was average. Looked & tasted like parsley instead of basil on my appetizer & entree. Felt like we were imposing by asking for a booth rather than the small table we were being seated at, even though we were the only patrons @ the time. Was told Groupon was usually not honored on the nights that they had their cooking class, but they would make an exception for us. Again, we felt like we were imposing. We are usually no too critical about food & places, but something felt off about the whole experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • VDay special
    great2bank
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    It Was My First Time Going with my fiance for VDay and we was hoping for a good night but got the complete opposite. First let me say the food was great, but horrible service. We had to ask for water as our server did not offer. And not once did she ever check on us since she was too busy on her iPhone. It took her a half hour for us to get dessert after eating our entrées. A family that came received everything faster than us which was unacceptable. I do not plan on returning back to this place anytime soon.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really wanted to like this place
    ready1take2
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    And we sort of did. The food was okay, not great but very expensive for what you get. There seems to be a lack of seasoning. The place is horrible to look at but the service is GREAT. We were there on a Sunday night and we were the ONLY ones in the restaurant. I suppose we didn't mind it because we used a Groupon. I would definitely go back with a Groupon and would recommend it to others with a coupon, but not at full price.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect BYOB Place
    enjoyinglife612
    Dined on 2/6/2014
    The food and service was amazing. Can't wait to go back!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great food and service
    Thomas
    Dined on 1/26/2014
    The service was very good at the restaurant. The waitress was attentive and very friendly and quick. The food was very good. Very tasty and nice size portions. My wife and i would definitely come back here again. Oh, and you can bring your own wine, which was a plus.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Terrible Service.
    Sludgey
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    My wife and I have two young kids so just the two of us going out is a big treat. We made reservations, but when we showed up, on time, we were seated in from of the door, which in Winter '14 was pretty uncomfortable. We ordered, enjoyed the food very much but we were abandoned by the wait staff after each course. We decide to bag having desert we had to wait so long. We noted other diners having similar experiences of less than good service. We'll not be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for Special Occasion/Anytime
    Jeanne
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    My friend and I had New Years Eve dinner here. The food and service were wonderful. I've also eaten here on a non holiday and had the same, great experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow. Very pleasant surprise!
    Robert
    Dined on 12/26/2013
    A friend and I came here for dinner last week and were blown away by the charm of this cozy Cranford restaurant. Definite pluses were the friendly and attentive service, relaxed casual atmosphere (byob), and fresh seafood dishes. Chef George also struck up a conversation with us after dinner that made us feel like repeat guests and not the first timers that we were. Another selling point for me was the fact that we didn't arrive until almost 9:30 but not once did we feel rushed to leave as the restaurant was closing up. This is a DEFINITE must-try restaurant if you are in the market for fresh (and affordable!) Italian dishes. We will definitely be returning in the future, and hope to check out some of their cooking classes as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious dining experiene
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    If you are in search of authentic Italian cuisine, look no further. We discovered this great little spot tucked away in downtown Cranford. The owner brought us bread with incredible dipping oil. The best we have ever had! Rigatoni with eggplant was so flavorful - favorite dish of the evening. Too full for dessert. We will be back and will save room!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • don't let appearances fool you
    dubewahVIP
    Dined on 11/27/2013
    Enzo has returned, and so has the quality. Lots of unique dishes with sicilian flair and fairly priced. Notable standouts include the stuffed artichoke, tuna with zucchini and peppers and the short fusilli with fava beans.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food was excellent. Liked
    joey
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    Food was excellent. Liked the specials. Owner came around to schmooz. like the BYOB. Recommend making reservations on weekend it gets crowded. I had the OssoBuco it was excellent.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful local restaurant
    Janet
    Dined on 10/23/2013
    If you're in the mood for good Italian food and don't want to "get dressed to impress" this is the perfect place for you! Extensive menu, perfectly prepared and served by a friendly & efficient staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sevice was very slow and they
    Gary
    Dined on 9/28/2013
    Sevice was very slow and they weren't busy. It took forever for some one to give us menus and take our drink order. My wife walked up to the hostess after we sat for 15 minutes to ask if someone could open our wine. Meanwhile they stopped at the table next to us twice to see if they needed anything.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    Gistoffski
    Dined on 9/24/2013
    It was my first time going but it was definitely worth it, I personally will be returning and telling friends of my visit
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very good food
    LindaF
    Dined on 8/31/2013
    We had a delicious meal but the service and ambience were only average. This is a casual restaurant, no tablecloths or cloth napkins. It so a BYO which is always good. When the waitress took away my fork after I had salad I had to ask for a fork to eat my entree. We enjoyed our food so we will return.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This was probably the worst
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 8/30/2013
    This was probably the worst service we have ever received in an NJ restaurant. And, the food was not great either.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food was very good, but the
    dinner
    Dined on 8/10/2013
    Food was very good, but the portions could've been a little more generous, very accomodating staff
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old fashion roman trattoria
    Russoradio
    Dined on 8/9/2013
    Unpretentious - simple decor- clean - emphasis on quality of food vs quantity here A menu with enough interesting items to keep you coming back. Prices are reasonable and portions are enough . We sampled the stuffed artichoke- splendid- excellent ! Penne vodka was vg- bouliabase was vg - we will return to sample more from a very interesting menu Trattoria by definition- slightly chipped plates- personable owner and waitress- great simple fare Much more extensive menu than a typical trattoria We we look forward to our next visit ! This - our first. For those who want mountains of food regardless of quality - this place is not for you Casually elegant - the byob concept makes the wine list the best and most reasonable one can find !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bad Experience
    Divir13
    Dined on 8/9/2013
    Service was poor it had seemed our waitress forgot about us. We were put in a booth with high backs very easy for someone not to be able to see us. Ceiling tiles stained show of water damage. Not a good sign when the host has to explain to us that they only have to cooks and they can't keep up with the orders. Should have not taken 2.5 hrs for our dinning experience for only a party of 4. Only when we explained that we were dissatisfied did they start paying more attention to us. I ordered a seafood pescatore that suppose to be served over a bed of liquine instead it was serve in a pot like dish with the liquine inside more like a zuppa.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Not One of Our Better Visits
    Paqi
    Dined on 8/3/2013
    I think the restaurant was having an off night. I had the shrimp puttanesca, one of the specials, but it was bland. A table-mate ordered the tuna, which tasted bad like it was more than a few days old. They were agreeable about replacing that dish, and the pasta substitute was much better. The service was not very good. The table wasn't properly set, and we had to ask several times for napkins. They forgot one of our salads, and had to come back several times to ask which salad we were missing. My husband ordered the veal parmesan. They brought the wrong dish, a veal milanese, and the waitress insisted that it was indeed the veal parmesan, even though anyone looking at it could tell it was not parmesan!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food!
    DaveB
    Dined on 7/16/2013
    I took my wife here for her birthday. The food was outstanding and the service was very good. They have the best veal I have ever tasted. The place is a bit outdated, but the food quality makes it all worth while. Open Table could use a better way of notifying the establishment of special occasions, as in the reservation I had stated that it was my wife's birthday, and our waitress had no idea. If great Italian food is what you are looking for, then this is the place to go!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    Excellent food, small and quiet, very concerned service. I would recommend
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Was disappointed in the food
    HowieVIP
    Dined on 7/6/2013
    Was disappointed in the food and the service.....service amateurish st best! Food okay...nothing to rave about......I would not rush back......overpriced for what we got
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing, not so great
    shamrockVIP
    Dined on 7/1/2013
    We had hoped to find a neighborhood gem, but unfortunately did not find it here. Mussel appetizer was great but downhill from there. Clams with linguine, disappointing. Penne with vodka sauce acceptable. Portions small. It is BYOB and server opened the wine but did not think to bring glasses for us. No salt or pepper shakers on table or offered to us. Place was dark, dingy and needs some updating. Ceiling looked in need of repairs. Chairs not comfortable, not real sturdy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Food, Quiet, Kid-Friendly
    familyof4plusgrandparents
    Dined on 6/30/2013
    Bel Paese is a great neighborhood restaurant. The food is great and we always feel comfortable bringing the kids. Last time we went, we brought the grandparents too for Sunday dinner. They loved the food and loved how quiet it was because they didn't have any trouble hearing the dinner conversation. I always feel like it's the town's best kept secret.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Family friendly
    Janet
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    Family friendly restaurant in downtown Cranford. Great food & fantastic service!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.