Bella Rosa -- Third time the charm?
Sierra Lodestar 01/23/13

Foothill Flavors

Bella Rosa opens in Jackson

By Antoinette May Herndon

Thursday, Jan.10, 2013 was Lindsey Carlson’s first night as a server at the Bella Rosa Restaurant in Jackson. Actually, it was her first time as a server anywhere. She did just fine!

The Bella Rosa is also pretty new, having just opened Jan. 2. The owner, Irma Bravo, is excited and optimistic.

That makes two of us. For months I’ve been eyeing the cute but empty building at 210 Main St. with hopeful interest. Even during my short time in the Foothills (11 years), the building has acquired history. First I remember it as a house, then a failed business. Two restaurants followed in astonishing and disheartening succession. Do you remember Agave? It seemed for awhile that I’d discovered my adobe hacienda.

Didn’t you feel that way?

Adolfo Gomez bought the place and completely refurbished it. For a time Agave was a tasty, trendy bistro. His was a noble effort. Agave deserved to make it, but didn’t. In less than a year the Mexican restauran was closed.

Then along came Sherry and Richard Cherney who specialized in American cuisine in their newly named Main Street Café. They served good food—everything possible homemade and locally grown—and had a great staff. Who can say what went wrong at the cafe, but the place closed in a matter of months.

The building at 210 Main had been empty for more than a year. The structure is old with a quaint with a “going to visit grandma”

look about it that’s quite appealing, yet the doors remained shuttered. Is the place haunted, I sometimes wondered while whizzing by on my way to “busy down town” Jackson.

You can imagine how intrigued and pleased I was to see an intent to do business sign in the window a couple of months back. I surely hope the place isn’t jinxed because Irma Bravo is betting on it. Hopefully, “13” is a lucky number for her because she started her new business with the new year.

Bella Rosa, as the name implies, is an Italian restaurant. Irma has chosen to keep the old Agave-Main Street Café décor so the place has the same light, bright and airy ambience. You feel right at home there.

Charles and I were delighted by the menu. Irma is offering lots of choices and everything looked good. While studying the possibilities, we nibbled on fresh baked bread dipped in garlic sauce.

I’ve got to tell you about that garlic sauce. It is really strong. Believe me, you need have no fear of vampires. Of course being a Transylvania girl, I love all that. Bring on the garlic, Count Dracula. Nevertheless, I was glad that Charles was eating right along with me.

We each decided to have a house salad ($2). Charles chose Italian dressing for his and I picked Caesar. The dressing came separately and we mixed them ourselves. Both salads were crisp and green with tomatoes and red onion. Very nice.

After much deliberation, I picked ravioli for a main course ($12.95) and was well pleased. The light, tender pasta was filled with

spinach and beef with creamy pesto and zesty basil. I’m eager to enjoy it again.

Charles’s choice was pasta Portofino which consisted of jumbo prawns and mussels sautéed in garlic butter, diced with white wine and tossed with linguini in a crema di aglio sauce ($14.95). I shared a little and must say that Irma is one great cook.

Bella Rosa does not serve cocktails, but has a variety of wine and beer choices. We each had a glass of Old Vine pinot noir ($4). It was really perfect with both our selections, so perfect that we each had another glass. Another time we would just order a bottle ($18).

Dinner was so good that we just couldn’t stop and added an order of peach cobbler ($5) that we shared. It tasted more like a rich plum pudding than a cobbler, but tasted just fine.

In fact, everything about Bella Rosa was just fine. Here’s hoping that the third restaurant works the charm for 210 Main St. To me, Bella Rosa is a winner. I hope you’ll check it out and let me hear.

VITALS: Bella Rosa is open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 4 p.m. until 9 for dinner. 210 Main St., Jackson. Phone: 257-0588. 210 Main St. Credit cards accepted.

Lindsey Carlson is an engaging server at Bella Rosa in Jackson.

Irma Bravo is the owner-chef at Bella Rosa in Jackson.

The dining rooms at Bella Rosa in Jackson are warm and inviting.

The doors are open again at 210 Main St. in Jackson. Bella Rosa features Italian food.