Bella Brava-St. Petersburg, Florida
When I moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 2012, My family and I would visit this place on the bay called Bella Brava. First of all, they had happy hour from 12-7, second of all...they had the BEST flat breads not to mention an amazing view. We would walk there from our condo for "brunch".
I'm sure you've guessed by now with the name Bella Brava, this is an Italian restaurant. Whenever I would go there I would always get the soup and salad. I know that sounds lame, but they have the BEST soup and about 5 or 6 salads to choose from as well as sandwiches, flat breads, anti-pastas and more.
They always offer the tomato soup (which I'm pretty sure contains some addictive chemical because it's some of the best I've ever had including my own and I make an amazing tomato soup) That day they also had a Ribollita Tuscan soup ( bread soup) which is delicious because HELLO it's made from freakin' bread.
So when my husband and I went there recently, we had to go make a pit stop for lunch.
Now, you might be saying, "OK, Jill...you went to this great Italian restaurant and you're going on and on about some stupid soup". OK, I get it. You want bigger and better things, which they have. From a slew of bruschettas and carpaccios, to spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and ravioli. They also have swordfish, salmon, eggplant parmesan...even a good old American Cheeseburger. You can see the full MENU for yourself.
I know with all of those wonderful choices, why did I just get soup and salad? Because it's what I always ordered ( on a weekly basis) so it was a bit nostalgic for me. St. Pete holds a lot of special memories for me ( I'm a total beach bum and so is my son ) so we loved being so close to the beach and the bay. I miss St. Pete, so when I get to back I have to make a visit to my favorite places.
Their daily happy hour doesn't hurt either.
I love the house wine (wine snobs don't judge me) at Italian restaurants because they always offer Chianti or Sangiovese instead of just your usual Cabernet and Merlot. Of course, I've been on a white wine kick so I didn't order any of those, but rather the Pinot Grigio. I can't drink red in the heat and at 6 dollars a pop...I was SOLD and ordered a glass. (fine, I ordered a couple of glasses) PS. The beers were 3 bucks and needless to say, my husband was a happy guy.
Since it was my husbands first time at BB, he ordered the MARGHERITA flatbread (due to my fathers very smart recommendation) with fresh tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil with the caesar salad on the side. I had the HEIRLOOM LETTUCE & CRISPY PANCETTA salad with tomato, red onion, egg and gorgonzola dressing. Of course I had to get the tomato basil soup on the side because I live for that ^&**!
If we were there for dinner vs lunch, I probably would have ordered the BRUSCHETTA with HOUSEMADE RICOTTA that has prosciutto di parma, arugula, parmesan and olive oil. I would have also had to have ordered the CACIO E PEPE with fresh spaghetti, parmesan, pecorino and black pepper because it's my favorite way to eat pasta.
If I know my husband at all, he would order the POLPO, which is seared Mediterranean octopus with cannellini & garbanzo beans, arugula, smoked aioli and fresh herb oil.
I DO have to say, I have had their American Cheeseburger and it's one of the best in the city.
You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu to be honest. It's a place I will visit over and over again whenever I go back to that beautiful city I used to call home.
My name is Jill...and I love wine.
5 out of 5 wine glasses