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Bellissimo in Fairfax, Still Good?

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aromanel Feb 24, 2008 11:29 AM

I have heard from a few friends that they liked Bellissimo in old town Fairfax however they claim they went a long time ago. And, every time I drive by, the place looks either closed or rarely frequented. Is this the case? Is the food work a try? I have been to Dolce Vita a few times and don't think it is the best. I am Italian by heritage and grew up with the smell of homemade pasta sauce.
Thanks!

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    anni RE: aromanel Feb 24, 2008 01:37 PM

    I've only tried Bellissimo once and didn't like it.

    I suggest you give Vespucci a try. I've eaten lunch there several times and it has always been very good.

    Located right on 29, not far from where Rte 123 intersects.

    4 Replies
    1. re: anni
      Joe H RE: anni Feb 24, 2008 03:37 PM

      Bellissimo is Italian American. It is NOT an Italian restaurant. On our last visit a year ago the $30 to $40 entrees were not as good as what we've had at Carrabba's which were literally half the price. What Bellissimo has going for it is the ambience which feels very much like a restaurant in Firenze or Venezia when you are sitting at the table. But it does not TASTE like a restaurant in Firenze or Venezia. The menu does not read like one in either city. This is a privately owned "homogonized" restaurant which I've now been to three times over the past five years and will not waste another penny in. Promising ambience-yes! But the food simply does not match what you will expect when you walk in the door.

      I am also not a fan of the cramped Dolce Vita on Lee Highway.

      For this kind of food the best you will do in Northern VA is Bonaroti in Vienna.

      1. re: Joe H
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        aromanel RE: Joe H Feb 25, 2008 05:58 AM

        Thanks Anni and Joe H. I am glad to hear that the place is not good... one less place to try and to waste my money!! Thanks for the help.

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        1. re: Joe H
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          bruce in oakton RE: Joe H Feb 25, 2008 06:13 AM

          'For this kind of food the best you will do in Northern VA is Bonaroti in Vienna.'

          which is a pretty depressing statement. We stopped going to Bonaroti - overpriced, pretentious and inauthentic. Expense account food for people who don't know any better.

          1. re: bruce in oakton
            Joe H RE: bruce in oakton Feb 25, 2008 06:13 PM

            I did not mean to imply that Bonaroti is good. Rather that it is an Italian American restaurant serving a kind of food that you would find in Baltimore's Little Italy or which was found here in the '70's and early '80's. We have not been to Bonaroti in four or five years; still, Bellissimo reminded me of Bonaroti just not as good. And, specifically, Bonaroti was/is not very good...

      2. Meg RE: aromanel Feb 25, 2008 08:32 AM

        Try Argia's in Falls Church for reasonably priced good hearty Italian. I'm not claiming it's the most authentic around, but always fresh and tasty. You can also get any entree family-style which is a great value. They have my favorite fried calamari (in corn meal) with spicy red sauce for dipping. I often order the spicy marinara from the calamari app. over a plate of pasta.

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          chriscatva RE: aromanel Feb 25, 2008 09:46 AM

          I used to really like Bellissimo, but it changed ownership around 3 years ago or so and has not been the same since. The old owner was Italian and the food and ambiance reflected that. The current owner is not. I also really miss the warmth and welcoming personality of the old owner. (I have had a couple of nice meals there under the new ownership, but it's no longer a place I go out of my way to visit.)

          I am wanting to try the new Villa Mozart in Fairfax (http://www.villamozartrestaurant.com/), which has gotten some excellent reviews.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chriscatva
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            aromanel RE: chriscatva Feb 26, 2008 05:32 AM

            Thanks everyone!! Chriscatva--- That Villa Mozart sounds (from the website) really good. Please do let us know if you give it a try! Meg-- I will give Argia's a try.

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