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Serving traditional Tuscan-style fare, this restaurant oozes modern sophistication while managing to feel warm and welcoming. The restaurant makes a good setting for a romantic meal or a group dinner. Its proximity to upmarket stores and shopping malls in Causeway Bay make it a convenient choice. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the excitement of Causeway Bay. Diners can book a private dining room for intimate affairs or enjoy pre- or post-dinner drinks at the restaurant’s small terrace.
The complimentary breadbasket served warm with a side of truffle butter is a delightful start to the evening. The appetiser of figs baked in pancetta and gorgonzola fondue offers an interesting blend of flavours and textures. For vegetarians, the suggested option is arugula salad, but it lacked substance and imagination, the leaves haphazardly put together on a plate with a couple of chopped cherry tomatoes and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The signature dish, linguine with jumbo red prawn date tomato and fresh herbs, more than makes up for this though, as the portion is generous, pasta al dente and sauce well seasoned. The risotto with porcini, truffle oil and shaved parmesan was hearty and rustic where the mushrooms were warm and had a chargrilled appearance which accounted for their smoky flavour. The risotto showed careful attention and was perfectly cooked. For dessert, the puff pastry apple tart and vanilla ice cream is a must-try, served fresh from the oven with a light and flaky crust and with just the right level of sweetness when eaten together with the vanilla ice cream, wrapping up a lovely meal.
The wine list is impressive and it is clear that significant thought has gone behind its creation. There is no sommelier, but the wait staff are helpful in making recommendations to pair with the meal and are more than happy offer tasters before ordering. The recommended Trentenare Fiano IGP Paestum 2013 went beautifully with the food.
Given the small number of tables, the server-to-customer ratio is high. Service at Bella Vita is fairly impeccable, where servers are never intrusive yet always polite, willing and well trained. The guests are greeted warmly, dishes arrive in a timely manner and glasses are constantly topped-up. The service is definitely a highlight.
A three-course dinner for two with wine comes to about HK$1,300 which is expected especially given the location, quality of food and service.