Bella Monica is hidden in an unassuming shopping complex. I wouldn’t have found it without the fantastic reviews on OpenTable! My husband, Mom, and I had a lovely dinner last night. The focaccia bread is delicious as was the meatball and Brussels sprouts appetizer. My husband really enjoyed the chicken parm and my mom and I liked the bolognese! It wasn’t creamy and had a bit of nutmeg in the sauce, which isn’t traditional, but brought something different to the dish. We will be back!
Bella Monica is one of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh. I’ve never been to a more accommodating Italian restaurant for a gluten free person. I had my own homemade bread, croutons on the salad, and warm and delicious stuffed shells. I never feel left out of the gluten when eating here :) They even have special plates for gluten free people to not cross contaminate. The wine is delicious and well priced. The service is usually good. Sometimes it is slow to get the first part of your meal — we waited probably 25-30 min for our appetizer. The other thing to note is the menu changes. I’ve been going to this restaurant for years and have seen the prices increase (which they aren’t that high as it is so no big deal) and now salads are no longer included with your meal. Overall, Bella Monica is great and I would highly recommend it.
Steamed mussels with mushrooms makes me keep coming back. There are other great things on the menu, but this is my crack!
Second or third experience - the food and service have now been consistently outstanding.
This is our second visit to Bella Monica and it was every bit as good as the first time! Delicious food, large portions, great service and good wine!
If you have a gluten intolerance, this is definitely the restaurant for you. They have an entire separate menu devoted to gluten free dishes. The polenta appetizer was out of this world amazing. The veal bolognese with gf penne was good as well. They even offer gluten free desserts!
Love the flatbread pizzas and that focaccia with shallots.
We were running late because of traffic and had to eat quickly before a theater performance. I called on our way, they took our order and had the meal arrive only minutes after we did. It was phenomenal. We have to eat gluten-free so absolutely love their menu. Love this place.
We decided to try Bella Monica because we saw from the menu link on OpenTable that the entrees included canneloni. Unfortunately this item has been dropped and no longer available. Because of this, we were disappointed from the start.
The food is SO delicious and the service was outstanding.
One of our favorite lunch places. The food and service are great.
Always loved this place. But this time, entree arrived cold and dry (pasta dish very little sauce). Also, one dish was not prepared gluten free as requested. Had to send back.
We got there early, 6 pm on a Tuesday night & ordered the special... they were Out by 6???
Then our waitress forgot to bring appetizer,
We ordered meatballs that were over nuked in microwave so they were a little hard:( and we had heard they were pretty good??
Ordered a latte... it was cold :( a cold latte.
It got busier as we received our dinner @ 7:10 so the service took longer.
Hate we picked this for a very special occasion only to disappoint :(
Front of the house service was great, but our server was very slow and never even asked us for a drink or appetizer order, just went straight for dinner. Garlic bread with mozzarella and stuffed shells were excellent. Roasted eggplant "parm" was a bit disappointing. It's listed under the Parmesan section, however it is truly just roasted eggplant, no breading, with spaghetti. We will be back again to try other dishes.
Best Italian food in this part of Raleigh. Excellent service and atmosphere.
Bella has been a favorite for years, and our most recent visit did not disappoint. I love to make lunch out of their app menu - so many great options. Recent menu changes have largely enhanced the selection (although we missed the garlic soup, which is a cure for everything). Service was exceptional - as always. Keep the small and intimate vibe. It was part of what makes Bella so very bella!
Always good to enjoy such good food while visiting with friends!
Server was rude. Food was not great. Pasta was hard. Nice bread good salad.
Four of us out on a Saturday night and we all had PIZZAS! 1 Gluten free cheese, 1 carmelized onion and green pepper, 1 spinach and mushroom and 1 sausage and mushroom and all were perfectly delicioso! We all were going to get something different, but couldn't resist when we saw pizzas around us. NEXT TIME for sure!
Knowing that it was our anniversary, we were greeted with champagne and many “Happy Anniversary”. We also received a free dessert! Awesome night in all aspects!
Was a little disappointed that they removed the salad as included with the pasta dishes. There is now an extra charge for it.
Team was accommodating in every way.
We were very disappointed when we got our bill and found out that our salads were no longer included with the entrees. Paying $7.00 for a small salad seemed a bit much when a larger salad was included with the entrée in the past. Our server was great but wish we'd been told that they no longer were included with the entrée. In the past, we also were given more ciabatta bread as one couple liked it with butter and we liked it with the dipping oil & spices. This time we shared the bread. We enjoyed our food but won't be going to Bella Monica as much as we have been in the past due to the changes.
I have been going to Bella Monica for years and always enjoy the experience. Great wait staff. They are courteous, efficient, and know their menus well. The menu has interesting combinations. "Hmm, I never would have thought if that combination." But it's good. Really good.
Bella Monica is my "go to" for a nice evening's meal in Raleigh. The food is good. It's a little "energetic" (loud) but makes up for it with a nice place for a intimate meal, whether inside or outside.
My girlfriend and I had a terrific meal at Bella Monica. Wasn't sure what to expect since I hadn't been in a few years, but the service was excellent and their lasagna was some of the best I've ever had! Try to be seated in the main dining area though or on the patio; we were on the side of a back hallway and the parade of severs and the hostess past the table every 30 minutes was distracting to conversation and enjoying the meal. All in all, definitely recommend!
I tried the chicken balsamico, and really liked it. My husband had his favorite chicken Parmesan. We dined with friends who enjoyed one of the flatbreads and we all sampled the bruschetta. I loved the crab and my husband had the basil and tomato, which he liked a lot. Eating on the patio in the winter months is not optimal, however. This time we sat in the front on the open end—without the plastic sheeting. The heaters work pretty well, but you need warm clothing too.
Pasta dish was cold and undercooked. Management didn’t seem to be concerned. Very disappointing
Yummy food... and wine! Neighborhood gem for us! Highly recommend to everyone in the area looking for an authentic Italian restaurant!
Service was good.
Quality of food was excellent as always!
Portion size of the Lobster Ravioli was insufficient. My guest left hungry and dissatisfied because there were only 4 raviolis on his $20 plate!
Excellent service, food was delicious and hot, as always. Don't skip the bread!
Every visit is a 5* experience in every way because you can't compete with perfection in the Bella Monica kitchen! Being gluten free has always been an exceptionally challenging ordeal until the Monicas came to town. The baked eggplant parm over polenta is to die for with their sauce that's not acidic or sweet - PERFECTLY in-the-house-made Italian as it should be as all menu items are! Other diners had regular chicken parm and regular eggplant parm both served over spaghetti. Neither offered the other a bite and had nothing to take home. Portions are enough to share and the menu is so diversified that ordering something different every visit is such a gastronomic treat! This is our go-to favorite lunch/dinner Italian spot since 2000 and for great reason. BRAVO and GRAZI!!!
One of our favorites. Few Italian restaurants offer such excellent gluten free options. We love Bella Monica! We are waiting for her sister restaurant, Stellina's to get up to speed with their gluten free menu.
Cute little slot. Has an unexpectedly great wine selection, and the food was delocious.
I thought our dinner was good and very impressed with the wine menu. If I could change anything it would be to add more pure Italian dishes and to add some French wines to the menu.
I was disappointed I was asked during the reservation process what the special occasion was and then there was no recognition of the occasion. Service was slower than expected with such a small attendance. Not my best experience at Bella Monica.
We have been Bella Monica lovers since their opening in 2000 and it's only become more loving as the years pass. It's the BEST AUTHENTIC ITALIAN we've encountered since leaving upstate N.Y. (Albany) 22 years ago! The gluten free menu is an absolute blessing for those of us who suffer from Celiac Disease, and the regular menu is so varied that my spouse tries a different item every time we visit. We've NEVER had a complaint about ANYTHING and we recommend EVERYTHING!
A little bit off their best. Normally food is amazing but somehow a little off this time. Also had that bad table outside around the corner ( not their fault since last minute reservation of Friday night)
We had the lasagne and salmon entrees, preceded by starters of brussels sprouts and mushrooms. All courses were wonderful and our server was attentive and knowledgeable.
Great food and attentive service. Bella Monica is a wonderful gem!!!