Bella Blu

4.5
881 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
The memorable Northern Italian Cuisine makes this Upper East Side restaurant special. The Spaghetti Lobster is the classic signature dish of this Mediterranean treasure. The Wine Spectator awarded extensive and serious wine menu is carefully selected by owner Enrico Proietti. Very often a private wine tasting is happening at the corner table
making the wine list more notable every season. The one of a kind brick oven offers a variety of dishes, exceptional pizza and foccacina rabbiola that is hard to find in this city. For something sweeter-the deserts are impressive! The atmosphere is charming in this power playing neighborhood.

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
7.6

Walking by Bella Blu, you might assume it’s just like every other mediocre, stuffy restaurant in the Upper East Side. Stuffy, it most certainly is. But it's actually far from mediocre – as long as you order correctly.

Ratings 7.5-8.0:These are restaurants that are reliable, tasty, and particularly good for whatever we have deemed them “Perfect For.” Hit up a 7.7 for Date Night with confidence, as long as you don’t need the restaurant to be the most interesting thing that happens that night.
What 881 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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RK
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Italian food and excellent service. We will definitely be back.

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u
New York Area
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite parts about this place are the servers and the tiramisu. Every time my partner and I go to Bella Blu we are seated in a really inconvenient place (i.e. in the middle of a pathway). We have asked to be seated elsewhere before but are always told we can’t. Last time, we had a reservation and asked for a specific table at the front of the restaurant but the host said he needed that table in one hour and 15 min. We sat elsewhere. Then we saw him seat people at the table we had asked for only 10 min after us. They were still there when we left, making me wonder if he had a reservation for that table at all. I bring this up because my partner and I are both female and every time we go to Bella Blu we are stared at and receive some confusing treatment from the host (never from the servers). Watch out, Upper East Siders, times are changing and you can’t keep seating gays off to the side. Good thing the food is damn good, cause we’ll be back!

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very pleasant birthday lunch experience for four friends. Food very good. Fun atmosphere.

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OT
New England
10 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

The food was only so so and expensive although perhaps typical for upper east side restaurants. However, since the high ceilings were tin the noise level was insane. They play really loud pop music so no conversation was possible. I won’t go again.

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h
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Salad was very good. Our table had two pastas. One was good, but the other was not prepared well.
The entrees besides the pastas are a bit pricey for such a casual place.

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OT
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun lively neighborhood Italian restaurant with very good food.

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a
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

We have eaten here many times, usually good. This time, lamb came out undercooked and they took so long to cook it, it came back after everyone else had finished their entrée. The old staples were great- branzino, gnocchi pomodoro- but the special app- grilled artichoke- was oily and limp. It just wasn't the same quality.

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R
Wilmington
7 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is lively and service was outstanding! Our server Mauricio was engaging and attentive. Our group was dining as part of a girls weekend and we were so pleased with the food and atmosphere! Highly recommend if you like authentic Italian food!

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MC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This charming upper east side is a favorite for lunch with conversation

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S
New York Area
99 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Food is great and service usually is too, but tonight I felt like a second glass citizen. Told to simply take a seat with no help pulling the table out; no offer to take my coat. Server was friendly but listed the specials with no descriptions (I heard him provide full descriptions without prompting to the table next to us). We had to ask for water refills, for the check twice, etc. Were passed by several times when we tried to make eye contact with waiter. We usually tip at least 20 percent but we tipped 15. And that was a lot considering the poor service.

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NY
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Consistent longtime neighborhood Italian.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

I have been going there for 10 years but i think this place is finished food took 30 minutes to come
Wine they up-sell you
Way overpriced for what it is

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KE
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Cozy upper Eastside haunt. Muraled walls and low light created a nice atmosphere. Waiter was great. Classic Italian fare.

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e
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Best is the ambiance. Great meatballs. A bit pricey but fun place.

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KR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love to go to Bella Blu! Fabulous food in the neighborhood!

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AK
New England
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

If you go early be prepared to hear a lot of noise from an abundance of children

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BM
New York Area
45 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food is always good. The noise level, at times, is quite energetic. Perfect neighborhood restaurant, but it's not cheap.

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H
New York Area
106 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food is good, but in my opinion very over priced. While most entrees are in the $30’s the specials were $50 and waiter never mentioned the price. $50 for a veal Milanese at lunchtime is a bit much, even if good. A Saturday lunch for 5 at almost $500 including tip, felt over the top in a neighborhood restaurant. We had no wine, only bottled water, a pizza, only one appetizer shared by the table and only 2 deserts. So while the meal was good, I think there are better neighborhood places that deliver comparable food for far less money. The service was excellent and friendly, and as I said the food was very good. Just taken aback when the check arrived.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Rushed us out at end of dinner

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Z
New York Area
69 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Fun place to visit. Good comfortable Italian from a big menu. Affable service. Have not been there in a while, but will definitely return soon.

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MD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been living here for 10 years- Bella Blu is one of my favorite restaurants in Manhattan. Delicious food and outstanding service. My parents beg me to bring them here every time I come.

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JG
Cleveland
9 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Very nice. I think the scaffolding outside through no fault of the restaurant makes the ambience less intimate. I would like this space to be more cozy overall, although the service and food was really good. If it were located on Amsterdam or Columbus or a cross street it would be even more desirable. Good value however and I’ll go back again.

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HB
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bella Blu was amazing. It was everything that I was expected. Would definitely recommend it for a romantic night out.

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k
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

GreAt night with special friends

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly delicious and outstanding service. Maurizio makes you feel like you are a guest in his home. We will be back many, many times.

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OT
New York Area
417 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The split pea soup was fresh and delicious. A special was langustine. They were well prepared and delicious. Wish the portion size was bigger! The special scallops were also tasty. My husband had the gamborini, which were excellent.

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RL
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great food....greater service!......great location !

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G
New York Area
102 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wowed! We loved this spot. From the moment we walked in...the decor was so interesting...especially the tiled wood burning oven. And then there was the food! All 5 of us really enjoyed what we chose. Our waiter was a perfect combo of charm and attention. Be sure to make a reservation as it was packed on a Tuesday night. We will definitely go there again.

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JA
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

The food is tops!

Unfortunately, we went when the noise level was....!!!!!!!

Also, they keep the music blaring.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food, great service. Had everything from fish, a special and pizza and all were delicious. I would recommend!!

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JP
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our waiter was truly a prince, embodying attentive but unobtrusive Service of our questions and eventual orders . Food is tasty, well presented. Wine pour worth the price. The only reservation was the unexpected price of the Dover sole, a special of the day. Well done but not worth $63 per serving, indeed an ample serving. Worthy of a return dinner.

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic Upper East Side Italian Restaurant with very attentive service and awesome menu! Will definitely return!

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LE
New England
39 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always go to Belka Blu in the city as they have great pizza and Italian food

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great place. We loved the place. The wood fired oven was great. Food excellent

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P
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Will definitely go back :)

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Christmas lunch

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Terrible service, clueless wAitress. 45 minutes wait for out pizza and it was COLD. Manager did not apologize and waitress disappeared.
Will never go back. Just poor service

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D
New York Area
83 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Waited 25 minutes for our table on a Monday night without apology or an offer of a drink or dessert.
Food as always, was very good, as was our waiter. If you care, ask how much the specials cost - or be prepared for a potentially unpleasant surprise.

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SF
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 2

Truly disappointing. The restaurant kicked us out after 2 minutes of getting the bill. I have never been at a restaurant that has done this to us in the UES. From the moment we got there, the server rushed us three separate times to order. Really disappointing experience.

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SM
Baltimore
27 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We love Bella Blu - we have been going to this restaurant for over 10 years. We are definitely there every December when we all travel to NYC. The atmosphere is party like, the wine list is great, and food is always very good and the Service is exceptional. Some of us had the Spaghetti with Lobster - delicious. I had the Tuna Penne pasta - very good and we always drink lots of Amarone!
Highly recommend.

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