3 out of 5 stars
Bella Monica was recommended to me by a number of people as a lovely place to get some Italian food. Other reviewers have commented on the amazing pizza but that one should try all of the dishes. I do wish I had gotten to try the flatbread, as it seems to be a specialty. Generally I felt that while the prices were reasonable, the service was just ok, the food was ok, the wine wasn't that great, and the atmosphere was as good as you can do considering it's a strip mall.
There were a number of specials the night we went, but upon ordering one of the special appetizers we were told they were out of it. We ended up with crostini with cannelini beans, which was tasty. Then I ordered the lobster ravioli special for my entree but they were out of that also. That was quite disappointing. I eventually settled on manicotti, which was good, but baked in a dish that had somewhat of a watery sauce in it. Husband tried the chicken basalmic, which he felt was ok, but nothing amazing. Our friends felt their dishes were good but no better than other Italian they have tried in the area.
My dessert was also disappointing, a flourless "cake" as they put it on the menu. I expected a torte, but what I got was more the consistency of fudge but tasted thick and chalky. The cannoli was lovely, however.
All in all, I'd give it another chance. But I'll save my "best Italian in Raleigh" award for elsewhere.Bella Monica 3121 Edwards Mill Rd
Raleigh, NC 27612