I’m going to tell you right now, this blog post has the happiest ending.
The story begins with my friend and I journeying to a quaint Italian restaurant behind the cultural arts district of Fort Worth. Upon walking in the man asked if we had a reservation, which we didn’t, and told us he could not seat us until after 8. We left, knowing we could get a meal somewhere else without waiting two hours.
We drove past our second choice which proved to be very crowded and was hosting a private party which insinuated getting a table would be difficult. We were left to try our third choice, Cafe Bella.
Back behind TCU, yonder from the baseball field and Bellaire, is Cafe Bella with its charming ambiance and fantastic outdoor patio. Upon walking in you knew it had a family feel, unlike the first place we tried, and you could tell it was a local hang out with several older couples saying hello to each other while passing by.
Our waiter was amazing, he made sure my friend and I were taken care of and checked in with us frequently, but not too much to be annoying. He was extremely polite whenever he had to interject our gabbing. The waitstaff was very good as well, clearing plates in a timely manner and always asking if we were done.
Now to the food! The first thing to catch our eyes and ears was when our waiter said “your bread is in the oven”. It came out nice and warm and they were pretty big. They had a nice crisp top and were nice and fluffy on the inside. The classic olive oil with pepper flakes and basil indicated that we were most likely going to enjoy a pretty classic Italian meal (for being in Texas).
The menu is pretty extensive, pretty classic. I opted to try the chicken Dardan which was lightly breaded chicken with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, and green onions. It was a very delicious dish, the chicken was cooked perfectly, loved how they got the meat thin and tender. The spaghetti with it wasn’t al dente and the sauce was definitely worth saving some of my bread to zoup up. The presentation was very appealing, the sprinklings of green around the rim of the plate. In my opinion the tomatoes could have had more of a sundried taste, they just seemed pretty blah, but they complimented the dish and gave it some color.
Finally how could you have a great Italian meal without some tiramisu. Again, the presentation was very appealing and the layers were so clear and defined. The lady fingers weren’t soaked and the whipped topping was light and powerful with flavor.
Now I said this story had a happy ending and it does. Sometimes life throws curve balls you aren’t expecting, like having to go to your third choice restaurant. Somehow it all works out because I think the first place we tried to go to would have been delicious, but full of stuck up rich old folk. Cafe Bella is perfect, you feel at home, you know it’s going to be delicious because of all the locals. Being in the TCU community proves to be special, because at the end of the night another couple grabbed our ticket and paid for our meal. The older woman turned to us and said “you go to TCU, you need all the help you can get” obviously knowing how expensive to is to go to college, be a student, and still go to dinner with a really great friend. If it wasn’t for the first place telling us we had to wait two hours, we never would have had such an incredible meal surrounded by amazing strangers. Cafe Bella is certainly someplace I’ll be enjoying for years to come.