Every once in a while, I stumble upon a restaurant that deserves so much more attention than I think it gets. La Bella in Murray Hill is one of those gems.
My boyfriend Mike and I decided to check out this relatively new pizza joint before hitting up a movie at the gigantic (well for Manhattan) Kipps Bay Theaters a few months ago. We shared a Caesar Salad and a medium pizza and from then on we've been hooked. It's not much to look at, but it's cozy, slightly dark and romantic, and the location couldn't be more convenient to the movie theaters, as it's essentially across the street.
Walking in, you'll see a to-go counter, but I'd recommend grabbing a table and staying a while. While a wine list is non-existent (in fact last time I was informed that the waiter with an Italian accent was the wine list), you can get a nice glass of Chianti to start of your Italian meal for $9. Who needs anything fancy anyway right? Next, I would recommend ordering the Caesar salad, and one order is the perfect size to split between two people. I've come to find that Caesar salads have been overdone and most of them can be pretty blah. I don't know what La Bella does, but the dressing has a nice bite (maybe the anchovy paste?), the lettuce is fresh and crispy and the croutons provide just the right amount of crunch. And at $6.95, you can't really beat the price either.
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