If you live on the Northwest side of town and are looking for a comfortable place for a slice of New York-style pizza, a well-tended salad bar or a pint of Guinness on the tap, then Pizzabella delivers.
The slices ($3.29 each) I’ve had in recent visits were cut wide, perfect to fold in half before biting into. The crust may not be quite as charred on the bottom as you’ll find in New York, but the balance of cheese to sauce to crust made it a pleasure. Bella, indeed. Plus, my request for anchovies ($.59 per topping) was met with about eight of the salty delights on each slice.
The whole pizzas I’ve had in the past, such as the Mucho Meat ($21.99 for a 20-inch pie) with pepperoni, sausage, beef, Canadian bacon and bacon, have also been good.
If you want a twist on a couple of slices, check out the Italian Job ($8.59), a kind of pizza sandwich in which the rolled up dough is filled with melted cheese, salami, ham and turkey along with roasted red peppers.
I have become quite partial to the Sicilian, a sandwich that just seems to get all of its ingredients playing together to form a genuine treat. Start with a toasty roll, then fill it with a flavorful mix of ham, salami and capicola. Add some provolone, fairly ripe tomatoes, lettuce and the tangy of olive salad, and you may find a 12-inch sandwich too small.
The ham and provolone works along similar lines, but without the pepper addition of the salami. The Meatball “Parm” was loaded with excellent meatballs and plenty of cheese, and the bread was strong enough to hold the filling together. (The sandwiches are $5.99 for a 6-inch sub, $8.99 for a 12-inch.)
Dessert was a letdown, as the cannoli shell was a little soggy while the filling was too sweet. I’d rather order another glass of wine from the well-chosen list or one of the beer drinks (why limit yourself to a black-and-tan when you can have a layered beer-cider drink?).
Service has been friendly and efficient, though the foot traffic wasn’t always busy in the late evenings when my friends and I have visited.
For those of you with heftier appetites: The restaurant’s website says that the all-you-can-eat buffet is available at lunch Monday-Friday and from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday evening.