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“Never again!” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Bella Napoli

La Bella Napoli
Ranked #93 of 531 Restaurants in Stoke-on-Trent
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$19 - US$25
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly, Groups, Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
birches head
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Never again!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2014 via mobile

We visited on a Monday evening and were quite surprised to see the restaurant empty. I've had many a good meal in an empty restaurant before so we were not put off. We should have been more wary...

The young lady who served was polite if not attentive and spent more of her time in the kitchen area than in the dining room talking to the chef. With the kitchen being a fairly open affair, we could hear them chatting but not see them.
Having seen the review on here I can only assume the chef's day off is a Monday...

The starters all seemed expensive-the tomato and mozzarella is 6.50.... So we decided to share a bruschetta. How disappointed we were. There was absolutely no seasoning in the tomato topping. The menu says they use San marzano tomatoes which they must have run out of as the tomatoes most definately were not, and seemed mainly to be diced pieces of tomato core. The garlic was raw and the basil was limp and tasteless. The topping was chilled, but had the texture of being chopped days before.

Main course was more disappointing! I ordered the smoked salmon and shrimp agnolotti di mare in a dill sauce. Now considering the starter was completely without seasoning , the main course was completely over salted. The dish was served with fresh tarragon over the whole meal which was the only flavour that was then detectable. I like the taste of dill but was unable to taste it because of all the tarragon, a flavour I am not fond of. The prawns were chewy, I'm guessing by the texture they were frozen and the agnolotti were definately frozen. You could tell by the way some had split apart, as that can't be done with fresh pasta, and all in all 12pounds was a ridiculous price to charge. My partner had the gnocchi all a sarda as she had never tasted homemade gnocchi before. Unfortunately she has yet to taste it as these were not homemade as described but shop bought. The salami had been diced so small that many pieces were just chunks of fat. Had they been diced a little chunkier I'm sure the dish would have been better.
With our experience of our first two courses, we decided to skip dessert at the restaurant and get the tiramisu from Tesco. Judging by the first two courses, I was half expecting to be served shop bought if I'd had dessert there anyway.

On a positive note both the red and white house wine were drinkable but at 3.95 for 125ml, they were outrageously priced (that works out at 24 a bottle.... For house!)
You may assume from my review that I don't like to spend a lot on food, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I'll gladly spend 20-25£ on a main if I feel I'm getting good quality ingredients and some imagination and passion from a chef. I do not like to be ripped off and lied to.

I would not return to this restaurant ever again. I understand this used to be a restaurant of some standing, I feel it may have rested on its laurels a little too long. The menu is dated with dishes that haven't changed since the 90's and the chefs seem to have stopped using fresh ingredients.

Helpful?
5 Thank stokiephile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcela O, Manager at La Bella Napoli, responded to this review, 23 August 2014
Thanks for your adds and sums that you are trying to add up for us but let me correct you that our bottle of house wine is £13.85 and not £25 but of course it works cheaper have a bottle than few glasses and is like that wherever you go!!! Is very common every one knows that!

Regards to our food and service, of course you would not enjoy anything anywere if you start counting every penny. I am afraid that our food j's like most of customer's reviews as below and we shall carry on keep it that way! !
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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204 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    104
    41
    26
    11
    22
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Excellent food and meticulous service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014 via mobile

After a horrendous journey down to Hanley where we were staying overnight before a visit to Alton Towers the next day, we were all in the mood for a nice Italian meal and having Googled the area the reviews for this restaurant encouraged us to book. I called the telephone number whilst we were avoiding the car park that seems to be the M6, but was put through to an automated answer machine each time. I left a message stating our request for that evening (Sunday) and my mobile number. I did not get a reply but as we were an hour later arriving than we anticipated (even taking into account the traffic disruption) we quickly changed and booked a taxi to the restaurant. When we pulled up outside we were a little worried to see the restaurant completely empty (at 8.15pm) but we entered anyway and were warmly greeted by the older gentleman at front of house. He moved two single tables together to accommodate our party of four, and promptly brought a menu, handing it to "signorina" first (little things please me!)
He left us to browse but was back a couple of minutes later to get our drinks order, promptly supplying them and allowing "signorina" to taste the rose wine first (like I said, easily pleased!!)
The orders were taken very soon afterwards and when the food arrived (another couple entered in the interim but the wait couldn't have been more than ten minutes) we were delighted with our choices. The meatballs in spicy sauce could have been a little more 'diavolo' for my palette but I understand the difficulties of spice in some dishes. The steak addict had plumped for the steak in balsamic after reading the review by a previous diner and he was not disappointed. The steak was perfectly cooked and came with a side plate of potatoes and vegetables. The "kids" went for spaghetti bolognaise and a salmon and prawn starter (not very hungry supposedly), both of which were declared yummy.
Our host was totally attentive throughout, bringing napkins when I "accidentally" got tiramisu wiped on my arm by a "Tourette spoon" (don't ask), opening the packets of bread sticks on the table and bringing bread and perfectly soft butter. We were so impressed that we decided to stretch our stomachs to extreme with puds, and can heartily recommend the tiramisu, chocolate profiteroles and vanilla pannacotta.
All in all this is a little gem of a place and I would certainly return if we were ever to return to the area. The failure to award five stars is no reflection on the place, I just have never awarded five stars yet (not even for the Savoy!!) I am guessing the gentleman who served us was the owner but if he wasn't he certainly showed a commitment to customer service worthy of the proprietor and is a definite asset :)

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank cleoc4t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcela O, Manager at La Bella Napoli, responded to this review, 16 August 2014
Thanks for your opinion and we look forward to seeing you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stoke
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Food tasty - far too cramped”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

The food is very tasty, our order came out wrong but the staff very quickly sorted this out for us and are brilliant! My issue is try have cramped far too many tables together - we were practically sat on top of fellow diners and heard way more of their conversation than we needed to. More space this place would be perfect

  • Visited July 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Tracyjon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcela O, Manager at La Bella Napoli, responded to this review, 16 August 2014
Thanks for your opinion. We are very glad to hear that you enjoy your food in our establishment. I would like to tell you that the buildings are very old and is not much we can do to gain space. We try to have right amount of people in. Thank you for your visit and look forward to seeing you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Great authentic Italian in Stoke”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

Good food in Stoke on Trent is hard to find. Go here and you've found it!

Eaten at La Bella Napoli 4 times. Simply brilliant steak dishes in wonderful sauces. Others in party have thoroughly enjoyed the very Neapolitan pizza.

Recommend the fillet steak in balsamic sauce.

Overall, this is an unpretentious little place in the heart of Hanley which serves superb food.

10/10

Helpful?
Thank AJ_and_KJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcela O, Manager at La Bella Napoli, responded to this review, 16 August 2014
Thank you for your visit and look forward to seeing you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frome
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Numero Uno”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

Not much restaurant choice in Hanley's evening "cultural quarter" but this is the best for relaxed ambience and cuisine.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Bill L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcela O, Manager at La Bella Napoli, responded to this review, 16 August 2014
We value your opinion and we look forward to seeing you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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