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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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Doesn’t Break the Bank at Bella Napoli

You know you must be a big hit at an office when on your first day, 8 of your co-workers join you for a lunch out – and that’s just what happened when our former intern, McKenna, arrived this week to start full time.  Meanwhile, I couldn’t even get 8 co-workers to come out for my birthday.

We were a little torn where to go – while Vezzo is a group favorite, the limited seating makes it difficult for a larger group.  Instead, we decided to try Bella Napoli, on Madison and 31st.

Bella Napoli offers a variety of lunch options, from slices of pizza and calzones, to salads, heros and hot pasta dishes.  We were all able to order at the counter, and then came back together to sit down and enjoy our meal.  The prices are affordable, with slices around $3 – but trust me , they are big and one can somewhat fill you up.  Pasta and chicken parm dishes, served together, are around $7.50.

Since we all tried different dishes, I thought we’d put together a little recap:

Pizza

  • I ordered a spinach stuffed slice.  When looking at it, many commented that it looked like it had a “Popeye” amount of spinach in it.  But to be honest, it was a great mix of cheese and bread that I didn’t even realize I was eating that much spinach.  It was filling, but I didn’t have that sick food-coma feeling afterwards.  I definitely would order it again.
  • Doug Feingold, Columbia Correspondent: I had two slices of the pepperoni pizza – and they were just the way I like them. They were very greasy, and featured plenty of the large pepperonis all over the slice. It was not an experience where I felt like I was fishing for a pepperoni. Instead, there was a bit of ‘roni in every bite. Moreover, they weren’t overly cheesy. It was the perfect combination of bread, sauce and cheese, which sadly, I find many places have a difficult time of achieving. The slices were also very large and less than $6 for the two – more than filling. When I’m in the mood for pizza for lunch, this is definitely where I’m heading.
  • McKenna Lowry, Westchester Correspondent: Plain slice wasn’t all that good, but the focaccia slice with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil was delicious.

Pasta and Parm Dishes

  • Paul Merchan, Rapper Correspondent: I can never say no to baked ziti. When I saw it in the heating tray, I knew it’s what I wanted. It was nicely bathed in succulent marinara sauce and cheese. The mix created an awesome red-white color on the ziti which I knew would hit the spot – so I ordered it, thinking that’s all I would have. But then the server surprised me and asked if I wanted meat on it. Perplexed, I asked what kinds of meat. When he said “chicken parmesan” I stopped him right there and inquired about the price. The total would be $7.50. It was a no-brainer. The chicken was juicy and tasted like heaven with the ziti on top. It was a very good portion, too. I had previously ordered a hero and a soup here and was not impressed at all. But their chicken parmesan and baked ziti converted me back.
  • Milos Sugovic, Foreign Correspondent: As a huge fan of eggplant parmesan, I give their attempt to stimulate my Serbian taste buds a 9/10.

Bella Napoli Salad

  • Caryn: Salad – delicious. I loved the liquid (although maybe it’s oil) from the peppers, and the mozzarella cheese was an excellent touch. It was a surprisingly fulfilling salad and I will definitely get it again. Plus, they give you this big garlicky roll with it. I was very impressed.
  • Alicia Wells, New Jersey Correspondent: I had the Bella Napoli Salad (same as Caryn) but without eggplant.  My thoughts can be summed up in one word: “eh.”  It was just OK.  Maybe that has to do with the fact that I don’t really like roasted peppers, and there were a lot of them, but I wasn’t really overwhelmed.  I wished I had gone with a sandwich or pizza.  I also got garlic bread, which was delicious.

Overall, most of us enjoyed lunch and I think Bella Napoli will definitely be in our lunch rotation.  A few of us have also made Bella a Happy Hour spot – the restaurant serves $2 domestic bottles up until 7 p.m. and if you are really nice to the staff, sometimes they extend it til 8.

The Basics
Name: Bella Napoli
Location: 130 Madison Ave between 30th and 31st
Who to take: Friends, Co-workers
Price: Cheap. $.
Overall: In our rotation. 4 stars.

Bella Napoli on Urbanspoon

1 comment to Doesn’t Break the Bank at Bella Napoli

  • Caryn

    Wow, McKenna – remember the days when you used to complain that you didn’t even get a name mention on the blog? Now look at you…you have your own paragraph!

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