P. Bella's Sturbridge Restaurant ReviewP. Bella's is a restaurant that is IN the Sturbridge Host Hotel. This hotel is right on Route 20 on the right side, before you reach Old Sturbridge Village that is on the left. The hotel is also right next to Yankee Spirits. Those seem to be the 2 main landmarks that most people know in Sturbridge :) The reason you need these landmarks is that there is NO sign at all for the restaurant outside. There is only a sign for the hotel and you have to know that the restaurant is inside there.
It's no surprise then that the restaurant is really quiet. There was only 2 other tables occupied when I met a friend here for dinner. She was a little late, so I chatted with the restaurant manager for a while. It turns out that the restaurant is about to convert into a steakhouse, so it won't be an Italian restaurant for much longer. I guess I'll have to come back again to do a new review when that happens!
The Italian decor is pretty low key - bottles of olive oil and such on the shelves, and a nice fireplace in one side. We got fresh bread, which was nice, and the wine selection was OK although limited. I had a salad, which was fresh and tasty, along with salmon dish. The salmon had pine nuts on it and was REALLY quite tasty. The service was prompt and quite helpful.
There were a few desserts on the menu - we both got chocolate lava cakes. I'm used to this being really moist and full of warm chocolate pudding in the center. Instead, the chocolate cake was really very dry with very little "lava" at all. Also, they don't have any port at all - maybe they only have a limited license where they can only serve beer and wine. That would seem to be something to try to fix.
All in all it was quite a reasonable price for a long, relaxing evening with a friend. We were never rushed or pushed, we could have sat there all night long in peaceful conversation. We'll have to see what this is like when it becomes a steakhouse. Maybe they'll actually put out a sign!
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