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Sunday, January 31, 2021

BELLA BISTRO: ROMANTIC DINING AT ITS FINEST – JOSH (THOMAS1 BELLEC) REPORTING. PHOTOS BY AUGI



When you think of Fine Dining in SecondLife, one name stands out among residents young and old:  Bella Bistro Romantic Dining. Situated on the shore of The Blake Sea, Bella is arguably the longest-running restaurant on the grid.  Seeped in Old World charm, Bella is well-known for, among other things, its excellent wait staff.  From the Head Chef to the Sommelier, the staff are like a family. The Hostess has been there for ten years, as has her husband, the Head of Security. The average time their waiters have been there is 8 years.  When you arrive, you select your table, either in the cozy dining room or on the patio watching a Blake Sea sunset.  Simply place your order, and your meal will arrive within moments, without ever seeing your discrete waiter deliver your meal.  

You won’t leave Bella hungry either. You can eat for 20 minutes and your plate looks just as full as when it was first delivered. And when you finally do decide you have eaten enough; your waiter will whisk away the plates between courses with equal discretion and alacrity and you won’t even see them do it. I was fortunate the other night, prior to the Friday evening rush, to be able to catch up with Clause Millar, Bella’s owner, and his General Manager, Silky Soulstar.  They shared with me the fascinating story of Bella’s and how it came to be one of the premier restaurants on the grid.




Josh (Thomas1 Bellic) (JB).  So tell me, Mr. Millar what inspired you to build Bella’s?

Clause Millar (CM):  Bella was built in 2009 by Sword Hammerer in partnership with Lucyangel Vacano to fit the need for a romantic restaurant with a preeminent style and character.  After changing hands to Luciano Lionheart, the Bistro was remodeled closer to its current rendition. However, the grounds and building were upgraded again by designer and builder Catta Grizot in 2017 upon commission by Bella's now sole-owner, Claude Millar. 

Silky Soulstar (SS):  The inspiration of the build is a Tuscan, European style because that instills the imagery of exquisite dining and also the grace that accompanies romance.

JB:  And what kind of “atmosphere” can we expect to find at Bella?

CM:  Bella is situated prominently on the Blake Sea. Having a coastal atmosphere, along with rolling terrain goes along with a "Tuscan meets California" atmosphere. It's casual, but at the same time refined, and fits with a variety of elegant scenarios.  So, while the mood is very peaceful, you can really feel an energy in your soul.




JB:  You do have a very lovely location here, right on the Blake Sea.   I have heard customers describe how they discovered Bella while out sailing.  Have you considered putting in a boat dock to cater to the seafaring crowd?

CM:  Yes.  We're very proud of our place along the Blake Sea. We have plans to expand our front terrace by moving the dance stage to the waterfront. In this way, we hope to welcome upscale yacht and watercraft to the venue. 

SS:  Something about water also puts people at ease, and they can enjoy the venue even if they don't have a boat.

JB:  I understand you have your own winery?  Tell me about that, please?

CM:  We grow our own grapes for production at the restaurant; carefully choosing the right blends for the wines we serve our patrons.  The rolling terrain, and the location on the sea, as well as the PERFECT SL weather we enjoy every day, makes for an exquisite wine, barrel after barrel from our proprietary old vine Nero d'Avola and Teroldego hybrid. Try it and you won’t go back to any other SL blend. That's our promise.




JB:  Where can we find a copy of your events Calendar?

SS:  The calendar of events is posted via sign-age on the pavilion stage.  Currently, DJ Harti is performing every day from 4PM to 5PM SLT.  Every Sunday and every Wednesday from Noon to 2PM SLT we have our Blues Party as well.  Sunday, February 7th we will have a powerful tribute to Billy Joel from 2-3PM SLT.

JB:  Have people ever booked Bella for private events?  Wine Tastings?  Wedding Receptions? Anniversary Dinners and the likes?

SS: Yes of course! We also love to host the actual wedding ceremony itself! The location on the sea and the romantic setting is perfect for a variety of occasions.
 
JB:  I see you have an entertainment pavilion.  What do you use that for?

CM:  Live entertainment for our patrons is provided on a programmed basis at Bella. We have Artist-in-Residence Elten Jonas, and also DJ Harti who also helps celebrate music by Blues artists and other legendary performers.  Both are exclusively performing at Bella.




JB:  Do you have a staff that helps you run the restaurant, plan events, etc?

CM:  Depending on the event we have staff to help serve our patrons. Routine occasions are typically self-service so that we can offer our patrons maximum flexibility. Wonderfully scripted rezzers provide a variety of menu items and beverages on demand. However, absolutely, on occasion, we love to host and provide exclusive, and genuinely warm service.

JB:  I understand you underwent renovations in the recent past.  What plans do you have and what can we expect from Bella in the future?

CM:  Bella has been in place since 2009, making it the longest-running restaurant venue in Second Life.  We plan to always remain classic and to keep the same look we have had since we arrived on the SL social scene almost a dozen years ago.  Renovations are done on an as-needed basis to upgrade to the latest standards that Second Life has to offer.  Maintaining a superior build is the commitment we have to provide the ultimate class of venue that our patrons are looking for.
 
JB:  Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

CM:  Our back room is a perfect locale for wine tasting, and an excellent setting to learn more about wine in general. And we also have Valentine’s Day coming up soon, so consider that a perfect opportunity to visit Bella too! 

SS:  Yes.  And be sure to join the Bella VIPs group to stay up to date on everything.




So there you have it, folks.  Whether you are looking for a setting for that romantic evening when you plan to pop the question to that special someone, or simply looking for a site for your next business luncheon, be sure and check out the original Bella Bistro Romantic Dining.
Be there.  Aloha!
JB
SURL: 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Swallow%20Tail/128/203/23
 

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