For an elegant Italian lunch or dinner, visit Bella Notte in Lexington, Kentucky. Plus, they can do gluten-free!
By: Alisha Trenalone
The other day, I did a search online for fancy-ish restaurants in Lexington, Kentucky. Just for something a little special. Not exceptionally gourmet, but slightly higher end than what I normally go for.
Nearly all of my results had one thing in common: they’re open for dinner only. And I wanted to go for lunch.
But then I found Bella Notte, and my mom and I enjoyed a great dining experience. Here’s what to expect if you go!
Looking for a quicker, more casual lunch? We recommend Señor Chimi, The Local Taco, Core Life Eatery, or Athenian Grill.
Lunch at Bella Notte
The restaurant is ideally located if you’re doing some shopping on Nicholasville Road. It’s just minutes from places like Trader Joe’s and Fayette Mall. Perfect for our needs on the day we visited.
We arrived just a few minutes after opening, and there were only a few other patrons in sight.
You can make reservations (which is no doubt a good idea at dinner time), but at lunch we were thrilled to feel like we had the place to ourselves for a little while. More customers did stream in as it got closer to noon, but it still didn’t get too crowded or noisy.
You can see Bella Notte’s menu, including their wine list and desserts, on their website. They have changing seasonal options for supper, but for lunch you can order anything on their standard menu of pasta or grill food.
To start with, I decided on a glass of riesling. It was a fun wine for lunch, fruity but not overly sweet.
Within a few minutes, we were served a warm loaf of bread and a generous portion of olive oil and herbs for dipping. Always my favorite part of any Italian dining experience.
The bread was served in a paper wrapper, perfect for tucking up and taking home if you don’t finish it — which is exactly what happened.
With Sinatra and company playing in the background, and bread, oil and wine on the table, it was quite a relaxing interlude.
I ordered the penne fresco, which included grilled chicken, pine nuts, broccoli, garlic, and fresh basil. There were a lot of flavors going on, and it was delicious.
My mom wanted the chicken parmesan, but she asked about gluten-free options.
Our server explained that their only gluten-free pasta substitute was rotini, but that it was cooked fresh for each order. Then he also asked if she would prefer her chicken be grilled instead of breaded and fried (yes).
We were impressed that they were willing to customize the dish to be entirely gluten-free!
And of course, we said yes to the extra Parmesan grated over top!
I would have loved to have tried their tiramisu or some other equally fantastic dessert, but it will have to wait for another day.
Have you visited Bella Notte? Let us know what your favorite menu items are! If you haven’t yet been, I hope you get to check it out soon.
About Alisha Trenalone
I’m Alisha and I live in eastern Kentucky. Discovering good food is one of my joys in life, but you will also find me doing lots of reading and dreaming of travel. Having worked at a local newspaper for several years, I’m avidly interested in the written word and the art of sharing stories. Now I help Sarah out in various ways here at Champagne Tastes!
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