Everyone has their opinions on restaurants. I try to avoid writing whole posts dedicated to one restaurant, because there are just so many wonderful choices in Belltown for dining that all do something well. But today I am writing about my experience at La Vita E Bella because it feels like it is a part of me, a part of the neighborhood of Belltown.
I am half mexican/half italian, just as an aside, and this restaurant exuded a sense of familiarity for me. I walked in and immediately felt like I was in a 1990’s mexican restaurant. Yes it’s 1993 in theory..the aesthetic is that eclectic, so much so that looking at the orange, blue and red walls coupled with plastic multicolored light fixtures over the bar, made me want to have a margarita. Literally, I had a craving for a margarita! Yet Sinatra was playing in the background and the joint had the beautiful aroma of Italian food. It was laid back, but not in service or quality of food. The Italian guy with the thick New York accent took our order, it was fun to just hear him speak, he sounded exactly like my dad. Our busser was so attentive that our water glass never got half empty. My husband ordered the Rigatoni and I ordered the Halibut, we switched plates half way through the meal. The Rigatoni was Freakin Amazing! The Halibut was delicious as well, but i’ve never tasted a more rich and perfectly balanced sauce as to what the rigatoni was made with. It was amazing, i licked my plate…almost. Great, Great food.
When the meal was over, and the tiramisu and white chocolate covered sorbet were devoured, i thought to myself: So what if the ambiance is not hip and posh? There are far too many restaurants in Belltown with that vibe anyways. This joint is a Gem. Truly a Belltown Gem. It felt like i stepped back ten years to see a glimpse of the local Italian place when Belltown was less seven condo buildings. Its annoying when all of the restaurants look the same anyways, super minimalist with nothing to distinguish it from any other place. This place is quality, the Rigatoni is where it is at, and I felt like it was my neighborhood Italian joint where i could go to get a little taste of home.