Food evaluation: Bella Napoli, Shrewsbury

There was a good deal of hazard in taking walks into an open eating place and bagging a desk as there was of Market Drayton Town beating Manchester City in the FA Cup. The usual haunts have been closed, the streets have been empty, and a TV dinner from Tesco appeared the most likely option.

Bella Napoli is a restaurant that opposes the grain. In one small corner of Shrewsbury, it supplied its version of La Dolce Vita. Bella Napoli is a traditional neighborhood Italian in Shrewsbury, serving a flavor of wooden-fired pizzas, pasta, and risotto. It’s open all hours, with mid-morning espresso and self-made cake before the day. Theirs is a menu for success, and couples were settling in for something tasty at what seemed just like the most effective open-eating place on the town.

An Italian meal is a dream. Spend time in Italy, and you may wander the streets of nowheresville towns, villages, or iconic cities to eat like a king. Pasta could be spent time to dry; shellfish can be wrigglingly alive; fruit can be bursting with ripeness; and wine may be flowing at the side of ribald testimonies. La Bella Napoli captures something of that vibe. The head waiter became busily idiosyncratic as we made his manner across the room.

I requested massive water; he introduced me to a small. And then, when that ran out, he added another small one. And he brought both with grace and panache, and I realized he turned right and I turned incorrect. I’d desired two small bottles of water despite everything. He was the acme of attraction, albeit in the most scatterbrained manner. The eating room changed into a classic trattoria. Light, vivid, ethereal, without useless adornment or ornamentation, it changed into an area that welcomed the hustle and bustle.

Bella Napoli’s website discusses its head chef’s love of Italy’s best recipes and its proprietors’ ardor for Italian delicacies. It declares an affinity for using the most effective, the best ‘mare e monte’ of land and sea ingredients. And it speaks of one dish in particular: Rissoti Pollo e Spinach—a hearty, creamy risotto full of chicken, spinach, garlic, and tangy parmesan. It sounded excellent. I ordered it.

But no sooner than beginning with an easy plate of calamari. Squid is one of nature’s disregarded components. It’s to be had clean from fishmongers in town, cooked correctly; it’s almost as delicate and smooth as prawns. But overcooked or cooked from frozen, and it’s a unique proposition.

And the version provided at La Bella Napoli didn’t excite me. A little overcooked and ever-so-slightly hard, it turned into cooked in a pleasant batter, the dish’s highlight. Besides changed into a scattering of limp salad leaves that had begun to wilt and lose something life they may once have, it became perfunctory food, a dish without passion or endeavor.

The essential became higher. Rissoti Pollo e Spinach becomes as creamy and enjoyable as the website had advised. Small portions of chicken were beautifully caramelized and had been nevertheless soft. The rice becomes al dente, with the slightest bite and a chalky white indoors. The texture becomes rich and starchy, and the dish has been seasoned properly.

The tangy parmesan marketed at the internet site changed into awful. Sprinkled at the pinnacle, it had the flavor and texture of sawdust and became appallingly dry. Ready Steady Cook once informed visitors to use dried herbs in preference for cleaning and to use pre-grated parmesan in place of shaving it right off the block.

And even as I’ve no concept whether La Bella Napoli uses 30-month DOP Parmigiano Reggiani or something from the cash and convey, all that I ought to consider as I ate, it turned into the powdery stuff they used to bang on about on Ready Steady Cook. I made it positive now not to add anything extra to my dish. I’d requested the waiter to pare the element size again, and he did, and it turned into a reasonably pleasing course.

I  for the dreadful cheese-skipped dessert. The diners around me had puddings that seemed first-class but unremarkable, and having fed on more than my honest proportion of protein and starch and been entertained with the aid of a marvelously idiosyncratic restaurant manager, it turned into time to pay the bill. The BBC and now-Scala DJ Simon Mayo have some of the signature topics. Among the most famous is a three-word overview. And had been we to apply the equal three-word precept to La Bella Napoli, ‘great but unremarkable’ could be a decent shout.

Everything’s kind of very well; there is nothing particularly overwhelming or disappointing apart from the limp salad leaves. But even as it’s interestingly exciting and even as lashings of bonhomie are served without charge, it’s nearly no longer an area for gastronomic thrills. If you’re seeking out a, without a doubt, genuine flavor of Italy, you’re not always going to locate it here. There aren’t racks of drying pasta, superb clean tomatoes, or any pleasures associated with dining in that lovely, lovely u. S . A.

Excellence is tough to find, and as Shropshire hurtles toward the 2020s, it’s no longer synonymous with that. There are many affordable restaurants and decent independents—that’s more than most counties have. It’s no longer disingenuous, unfair, or harsh to explain La Bella Napoli in that manner. The Castle Street eating place offers first-rate, fairly priced food, a warm welcome, a buzzy ecosystem, and a crew devoted to providing the great hospitality they’re capable of.


I love cooking and eating food. I always look for new recipes, new foods, and new restaurants. I just love food! My goal is to post interesting and delicious food and share recipes with the world. I have a passion for all types of food; especially Asian cuisine.