My bestest marathon buddy Dr. Annebelle and I recently had an amazing 2 pm brunch at Bella’s Cafe in New Haven, CT. This little find is tucked away in the Westville community and is must if you’re visiting CT. (Seriously! It only takes 2 hrs to drive across the whole damn state! And New Haven is in the middle.) Almost as awesome as their food, is the support that they give to a number of local charities. They also do catering, and man would I love to get this instead of pizza at lunch meetings once in a while! As if this isn’t enough, the icing on the cake is that they are local and family owned (…and operated? Sure, why not?)
So we went for brunch (yes, 2 pm is brunch time) but the entire menu looked amazing. Of course we started with mimosas and (white wine) sangria. The mimosa was good and I will have dreams about the sangria. Now this brunch was after completing our weekend long run of +16 miles and we were both pretty effing hangry. I really could have ordered half the menu (and consumed it myself) but (thankfully…in retrospect…) was restricted to a human sized lunch portion.
Dr. Anne and I got to dishes to split and I think we made particularly good choices with the…
The CBR was awesome! It was a fresh flour tortilla stuffed with beans, onions, peppers and a mystery ingredient that I’m not going to disclose but semisuccessfully picked around. The burrito was then lightly fried and topped with two over easy eggs and salsa!! The spice combinations were great, there was just enough kick and the eggs on top were perfect (rather than being scrambled into a homogeneous mush and packed inside the burrito…shamelessly diluting all of the inside goodness in the process…)
While the CBR was awesome, the FP was fanfreakingfenomenal! It will costar with the sangria in my dreams. So this little treasure was two dense, yet moist and creamy, and lightly fried patties of polenta (not mushy or dry or tasteless in any way as polenta is so often reduced…) over an excellent arrabbiata sauce. The seasoning was herby (but not too much…yes that’s a word…on my blog it is anyway…), savory and had a nice kick. Broccoli rabe (with just the right level of bitterness) topped the polenta and all was topped with two perfectly poached eggs. I don’t even really like poached eggs but my mouth is watering as I write this! Get the polenta!
Our waitress was a bit odd (I know, I’m one to talk…) but she was good. Since it was 2 pm and there were all of 4 tables in the restaurant, everything was super fast and correct (the first time).
Bella’s is a chic little restaurant and bar open only for breakfast, lunch and brunch. The dining room is open and light and super pleasant. I think they might even have some tables out on a patio, but given that it was 700 F outside and 200% humidity (at least) I paid no attention to these options.
If you’re looking for a dollar menu this might not be the best fit for you. But, if you’re looking for great food at a very reasonable price, then you’ll be totally satisfied. Both the quantity and quality of all the grub we got was outstanding. ~$25 for a great bunch (adult beverage for optimal post-16-mile-run-on-a-hot-day hydration included) at a chic little family owned joint that supports local charities…sign me up!!