Classical music could be heard playing outside Mia Bella as I reached the entrance. Not the sleepy kind… oh no… It was super fast & hyper, reminding me of Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven” from Saturday Night Fever.
The kind of song that makes your feet sting from pure excitement!
My foodie friend had already arrived and was seated at a cozy table in the corner. Before I could comment on the glorious song playing upon my arrival… the impossible happened.
Peter Gabriel… “In Your Eyes” from the Say Anything soundtrack with John Cusack & Ione Skye… began to play.
To say this is the all time greatest 80’s movie & song is a grave understatement. Holding the boom box over his head as he stares hopelessly into Diane Court’s bedroom window… Lloyd Dobler is the keymaster & he is … Epic Dreamy.
My foodie friend suggested having brunch at Mia Bella for at least three weeks before it happened. For some reason, I just didn’t want to go, convincing myself the experience would be somewhat of a waste.
Mia Bella suddenly seemed appealing after the travesty endured at the hands of useless management from both Table Seven & Gravitas. Gulp.
We started with Bruschetta alla Romana which consists of toasted Italian bread with a fresh basil olive oil & tomato salad.
There are many appetizer options that are perfect for AVH… The Torta di Granchio consists of a jumbo lump crab cake served with sweet potato balsamic chutney & saffron wine reduction. Another potentially yummy app is the Scampi al Pomodoro which consists of sautéed shrimp in a fresh tomato basil sauce with garlic & olive oil.
How would one best describe an elite… top of the line… champion… foodie friend?
One that loves to eat meat, but whenever a moment of opportunity arises, will smile as he takes one for the Almost Veggie team. This would describe my fantastic foodie friend… Indeed.
He ordered the Ravioli Quattro Formaggi which consists of herb & cheese filled ravioli, tossed with cherry tomatoes & leeks, topped with a four cheese sauce. He asked for… no cherry tomatoes.
I am quite positive his heart would have thumped an extra beat if he were to order the… Vitello alla Mia Bello with sautéed veal, topped with sun-dried tomatoes, portobello mushrooms & marsala wine sauce, served over a bed of basil pesto risotto.
Instead, this carnivore eating guru settled for a meal that needs no veal, therefore letting one more baby cow grow & flourish in its vealhood… to later become a full grown… cow.
Capesante con Porri consists of sautéed sea scallops with a roasted jalapeno pesto cream sauce & topped with fried leeks. Although this is an appetizer, I happily ordered it as my meal. The jalapeno pesto cream sauce would taste wonderful on a pasta dish. Pretty Please.
For dessert, I chose the Crème Brulee which is served with vanilla custard, topped with caramelized sugar, whipped cream & fresh strawberries.
My foodie friend sat with an unimpressed scowl as he growled, “The food was great until now… This is terrible.” I almost squeaked out a tear. How could I have ordered this after all he has sacrificed? Woe is Veggie Me.
P.S. I liked it.
I knew I would be coming back for Sunday Brunch the next day and will not waste one second before speaking of… The Manager.
Not only is Justin… Super Duper Dreamy, but he is also an… Executive Chef.
Stop the Press!
This is painfully exciting. Could it be true? A qualified Manager slash Executive Chef… I could hardly speak as he rushed over to refill my water and said, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
Um, that answer would be yes. Roll up your sleeves and let me see your endless arm tattoos. Yes, he has tattoos. Not once in my life have I been even microscopically excited about a tattoo, but accented with the pink oxford button up & pen behind his ear… Suddenly, I morphed into a tattoo girl. Help.
While sitting at the bar during brunch, in walks… José the Bartender.
José reminds me of René from Mockingbird Bistro in the very best way. They both possess a unique kindness, genuine heart, and a rare quality that captures your attention.
As José busily cut & arranged fresh flowers for each table, he began suggesting different items for brunch. He raved about the Insalata di Mela… This Granny Smith Apple Salad is served with baby greens, cherry tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, grapefruit vinaigrette and … candied pecans. Heart!
Being one to consider fruit plates an intense bore, it is surprising José could sway me… The Fresh Fruit Plate consists of assorted fruits with vanilla bean yogurt dip & candied pecans. He is right. The fruit is incredibly fresh, with a never ending pineapple explosion.
The Manager, with Executive Chef talent, suggested I try the Crespelle Shrimp which consists of herb crepes filled with shrimp, spinach, roasted red peppers, mushrooms & mozzarella, served in a sage butter sauce.
While enjoying my entrée, José spoke of his son… José, Jr. This bond between father and son runs to the core of his heart. His son was born several months premature and was in danger of losing his life. A vibrant 3rd grader now, this Dad is in awe daily.
José, Jr. is at the top of his class. Once having a foot smaller than half of his Dad’s pinky, he has mastered multiplication, and is on his way to conquering division. High 5 José, Jr.
Justin & José have restored my foodie faith in Sunday Brunch. You will not regret spending the afternoon at Mia Bella Trattoria.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch