Bayousaint has a few things exactly right and a few things not so correct.
The correct things, Good and Bad: The place WAS to loud. It did need carpet, which it got in early November. We were closed for 3 weeks in August to remodel and I simply ran out of money. So open we did--albeit carpetless and artless. On the other hand one of the reasons it was too loud was because we were full. The curtain drapes are gone right along with the overdone faux Tuscan atmosphere. Currently, there are only 2 spaces left on the walls for art. Those 2 peieces are being made now by a local copper artist. Of course, yes the food is still great. There are very, very, very few reataurants where the chef is cooking on the line. I am there doing it. The kitchen is open so the proof is there.
The incorrect things: There are the exact same amount of tables and chairs that has been in the restaurant for the last 9 years. The Calamari is in the Appetizer/Salad section on the menu with the same price that it has always been---minor detail that probably really doesnt matter.
The staff and I have never had this much fun cooking and it shows.
The outside of the building is nasty looking, hopefully one day I'll have some money for that. But, the inside has really come along. We still need to paint some baseboards along with the floors of the bathrooms.
All that being said, We still have a great food, great wine list and great service and now, an atmosphere that I am happy to work in another 9 years.
We dined there a few weeks ago. I really didn't like the changes. Don't get me wrong the food was still fabulous, but the decor has taken a dive. From what I understood from our waiter, the owner was going or a minimal decor atmosphere. He got it. The floor is now concrete. The walls are now stark white with no artworl. More tables have been added. The curtain-draped corner booths are now gone. Bambo blinds now line the windows. What was once a cozy dining place, has now become stark and loud - I mean loud. I had put effort into hearing my boyfriend across the table untill some other diners left. Not the fault of the patrons; it's jusst that there is nothing to absorb the sound. It just bounces. We used to love to eat at this place - it was one of our few regular spots that we adored. Sure, we'll probably dine there again, but Bella Fresca has been rotated off our list for regular spots. The good news is that the food is still fabulous. There have been some changes to the menu, and the calamari has been moved to the main course section. Great food still, just the atmosphere that leaves something to be desired.