Four of us went to Bellavitae for dinner last night and it was quite disappointing. Maybe my expectations were too high based on the reviews that I read and the Chowhound posts, but anyway we wont be back.
We had 4 apps to start, then 1 app and 2 entrees and 2 desserts all to share. We started with their signature cauliflower with pinoli nuts and currants in oil olive and I mean drenched with olive oil. I loved the combo of ingredients, but the massive amount of oil totally turned me off. Same with the punterelle and anchovy dish. Punterelle were great, very crisp and tasty and the anchovies provided a good contrast of flavors. One of my friends loves anchovies so she ate them all up, whereas the flavor was enough for me, but again drenched in olive oil. Figs wrapped in pancetta were very good, once again the sweetness of the figs contrasted with the saltiness of the pancetta, great combo, probably my favorite app of the evening. Roasted beets was our 4th app, fine but nothing special at all. We all love beets, so no complaints there. Next round included the crostini plate (2 gorgonzola crostinis, chopped liver, green olive, black olive). These were only OK. Entrees were the farro pasta with porcini mushrooms and prosciutto and tuna steak. Both were good, pasta very rich and heavy and tuna steak very rare and tender. Both winners. For desserts we shared the gelato with honey, (yummy) and the chocolate one. I am now tempted to put honey on vanilla ice cream at home! The chocolate dessert was semi sweet chocolate and slightly frozen. This one was way too rich for me, but my chocolate friends loved it. I commented that I could not even eat half by myself and they chimed in that they could easily eat one by themselves. Everyone has different tastes which is why it is so much fun to share when we go out to eat. No fighting for the same foods!
Just a comment about portions and service and I will come to an end. Portions were tiny tiny, so therefore relatively over priced, I thought. After I got home from theater, I had some more food because I was still hungry. Service was extremely lacking. Because we ordered so many small plates, there was a lot of plates on our table and a bit crowded. Waitress did not take away our wine glasses, only one had wine, no water refills w/o request (I asked twice) and very slow. We were always looking to flag down our waiter for something. She put the food on the table and disappeared. We were almost late for theater right next door and we planned a 2 hour dinner!!! We did not even have time for tea and coffee with dessert. We asked for the check right after dessert was put on the table.
Unfortunately neither theater nor dinner that night was very good. Could not recommend either. Dont understand the raves for this restaurant. All four of us left saying we did not understand the good reviews and need to find a better restaurant the next time we get together.