We eat out quite regularly as a family but I'd never thought about going to Bella Italia until an invitation to do so popped up in my email account. There isn't one that locally to us and I certainly wasn't aware that they had such an amazing children's menu as they do - you can have a smaller portion of an adults meal which is ideal for Minxy and Jamster as they generally eat the same as we do.
We were invited to the Milton Keynes restaurant on Savoy Crescent where nearby parking after 6pm is free. We were the only people there when we arrived so we could take our pick from the tables but by the time we left, an hour and half later, staff were turning people away as it was fully booked! This was proof that the food and service were really good, especially for a Monday. It's definitely wise to book in advance like we did.
Upon being seated Donny, our lovely server, presented us with menus, organised our drinks and brought out some bread sticks in really cute miniature buckets for the Mini Mes to nibble on. He also gave them puzzle sheets and a stackable crayon to keep them occupied while our starters were being cooked.
The restaurant had a really nice atmosphere and although some people were dressed quite formally I felt very relaxed to be there with children. The candles on the tables were a lovely touch too and it had an almost romantic feel about the place.
The Mr selected Funghi Arrosto (£5.45), I selected Mozzarella Pomodoro (£4.85) and both of the children had cheesy garlic bread to begin. Everyone agreed that they were presented nicely and delicious in taste. They tasted really fresh and we were offered various oils and Parmesan with each course too.
"It was lovely and crisp on the bottom but soft on top with just the right amount of garlic" - Minxy
For mains I chose one of my favourite dishes, calzone, and I selected the Carne version which was filled with meat (£11.45). This was exceptional, once of the best I've eaten. The Mr had Pollo Formaggi al Forno (£9.95), something which I chose for him as he was so indecisive and torn between several meals! Minxy had a carbonara and Jamster the spaghetti bolognese.
With the children's menu you can pick a smaller plate for younger children or a bigger plate for those with larger appetites. We did notice that despite ordering larger portions for them both, Minxy's was considerably smaller in size, although this did turn out for the better as she found it very filling.
|Pancetta, spicy meatballs, red onion, mozzarella and beef ragù|
|Chicken and crispy pancetta in a rich four cheese sauce with giant shell pasta and a cheesy crumb topping|
We all have a bit of a sweet tooth so we decided to have desserts too despite being quite filled by this point. There were lots of things that I would've been happy to try but I settled on a Cookie Dough Lava Cake (£5.75) and the Mini Mes had the kids version of the same. The ice cream was really nice and the cookie was packed with chocolate chips so that had us grinning from ear to ear.
The Mr went for a sundae, the Godfather Fragola (£6.25).
"It was pleasantly refreshing with the strawberries and meringue within." - The Mr
For the children, they receive 3 courses, refillable drinks and nibbles for £5.45 (Pocollo) or £7.95 (Grande) which is fantastic value. The Pocollo menu is aimed at children aged 2-6 years of age and the Grande menu is more suited for those aged 7- 11 years of age.
There are options for less than 600 calories for those watching their weight and also gluten free versions too for those with allergies.
I'm hoping the Mr books a table for us to return for my 30th birthday which is fast approaching as I would love to return after this experience.
Have you tried Bella Italia yet?
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