A Bella Bella

A Bella Bella

Veggie Pizza at Bella Luna (Jason Greenspan)

It has been said, more than once, by foodies and casual eaters, that the Upper West Side, for reasons that remain unexplained, is a culinary wasteland. Lately, though, I've been seeing an awakening of sorts in this residential northern Manhattan neighborhood, and one of those spots to brighten up this somewhat deserted restaurant landscape is Bella Luna. Founded in 1988, Bella Luna, originally at 584 Columbus Avenue, had been feeding diners appealing Mediterranean-inspired dishes for more than 30 years until it closed last July. In January 2017, the restaurant moved to a new locale just down the block, an 1893 building that had been a market, a speakeasy, a restaurant and a flower shop. The Columbus Avenue resto now offers the kind of Italian dishes enthusiastic eaters have come to know and love, such as polenta with bolognese sauce, homemade meatballs, fettuccine alfredo and eggplant parmesan. A variety of brick oven pizza choices include vegetarian, pesto, white and spicy grilled chicken.

And, to sweeten the pot for the budget-minded, a three-course prix fixe menu, M-F, until 6 pm, is offered at a phenomenal $20. Mangia, mangia are now the buzz words on Columbus Avenue.

» Bella Luna, 574 Columbus Ave., 212.877.2267

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