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April 15, 2010

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Pizza in garden setting

ONE of the city's most popular spots for authentic Italian cuisine, Bella Napoli, has opened a second restaurant tucked away in a lane in Jing'an District.

Started four years ago by Guido Esposito who himself comes from the Neapolitan area, Bella Napoli's Xikang Road restaurant has become a favorite for medium-priced Italian fare.

Esposito's newest venue in a lane off Changle Road near the bustling Wulumuqi Road has a spacious garden and a new pizza oven, allowing Esposito to expand the offerings on his menu.

As Neopolitan locals claim to have made the first pizza in the 1880s in honor of Queen Margherita, Esposito is keen to celebrate this favorite of his culinary heritage.

"Pizza is the one thing that is missing from our first restaurant and we were always looking for an opportunity to find a location that was suitable to create a very traditional home-style trattoria menu as in Naples," Esposito says.

With a range of family pictures of weddings and birthdays in one corner of the restaurant, Esposito has certainly put his heart into his latest venture.

Here, pizzas start from 70 yuan (US$10.25) and range up to 90 yuan, and the list is a solid selection of Italian favorites from a traditional Margarita to a classic Marinara with anchovies garlic oregano and homemade tomato sauce.

"We want to use only quality authentic ingredients so our dough is made from Italian flour, Italian mineral water and salt because we believe that great ingredients are essential," he says.

Esposito has furnished the restaurant to feel like a homely trattoria with red-and-white check tablecloths and wooden floorboards.

Esposito says he hopes his 50-seat garden will attract families, and the restaurant offers weekend brunch and barbecue specials.

Bella Napoli's Changle Road outlet will continue to offer its popular weekday set lunch, which is 50 yuan for two courses and a choice of soft drink, or 75 yuan for two courses with a glass of house wine.

Address: Lane 4, 946 Changle Rd

Tel: 6248-8985


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