Bello Cucina – #1 In Our Hearts
by Tim Osmondson, Publisher of SCA Living Magazine
There is nothing like good Italian food. You can eat your fill and feel great afterward since the food is as healthy as it is hearty. In St. Joseph, one Italian restaurant has been receiving ample heartfelt praise for its many authentic Italian dishes and a couple hearty scandinavian influenced entrees (Lobster Augratin, Beef Stroganoff Fettucini and Butternut Squash Ravioli & Lobster) with an Italian flair at Bello Cucina!
Begun by the Italian trained Chef Mueller, Bello Cucina is a taste experience of old-world Italy with modern twists and unforgettable flavors. He brings years of training and four generations of family experience in the food service business and was born to bring joy through food to people. For him, each dish is jam-packed with authentic character and taste that leave customers hungry to come back for more. Some of the most highly reviewed dishes include the highly craved Avocado Bruschetta, to die for Blackened Ribeye & Shrimp Alfredo, the melt-in-your-mouth Firecracker Sirloin Risotto, and the tantalizing tasty Vodka Meatballs.
Of course, no Italian dinner would be complete without wine. Fortunately, Bello Cucina has plenty to choose from along with a very knowledgeable, supportive wait staff to help you make an appropriate decision to best fit your dish chosen. Just take your pick and enjoy the atmosphere as much as the flavor! Chef Mueller trys to keep the majority of their wine list at reasonable prices but they do carry higher quality wines for fine wine connoisseurs.
Join Bello Cucina each week for their weekly entree special where Chef Mueller creates a new and exciting dish that they hope will entice patrons, gain glowing remarks and maybe become a staple of our menu. Proof of this is their Boom Boom Pow entrée and Chef Mueller’s insists you must try this scrumptious dish yourself! It now outsells almost anything else we make.
Now, Chef Mueller isn’t big on providing meal and drink specials on a continual basis because his greatest priority “is to serve his patrons the very best Italian cuisine he can make available.” Nevertheless, every Sunday from 4 PM to close, all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs are served at Bello Cucina for just $15! With that you get garlic toast and salad. Does that not sound like an absolutely delicious way to cap off a weekend? And, on the first Wednesday of each month, Bello Cucina offers a wine tasting event where they serve five (5) starter plates, five (5) tastings of different wines, and a full wine glass of your favorite wine of choice from the evening. The seating is limited to 40 people at $40 per person. Plus, Happy Hour at Bello Cucina is served from 3 to 5 PM, Monday through Friday at half price.
Chef Mueller’s wife Sarah is inviting people to join in the fun with a new Meetup group. Each month, the group will discuss everything about the country of Italy, it’s culture, the food and other topics while sharing a love and interest surrounding this romantic atmosphere and the lovely people that reside there. Their hopes down the road is to travel with interested parties that share a desire to experience the best of Italy!
In the future, Bello Cucina is looking to incorporate and develop Zero Proof drinks for their patrons and Chef Mueller believes this will be a huge trend in the future. It is Chef Mueller’s hope for business luncheon meetings to be able to enjoy these effervescent drinks filled with flavor and fun. Additionally, Bello Cucina is planning to further it’s growth in St. Joseph by adding more space to bring
Italian Chocolate and Candy delicacies and a Gelato/Ice Cream Shop to top off your experience. Can’t wait!
Speaking of experiences, the spectacular atmosphere of Bello Cucina makes it perfect for any occasion. Whether your party has 2 or 12 members, Bello Cucina has your group in mind for an excellent time out. It is all a part of the festive, large-family feel Bello Cucina has specialized in since it’s opening in 2012. Come for a birthday and you’ll get a complimentary birthday dessert on top of impeccable service. You’ll have to save room for it, however. The dishes at Bello Cucina are renowned for their generous portions. About 3 years ago, Chef Mueller expanded the bar to include a tasting room where the public has been given an opportunity to become educated in the finest of wining and dining. This space is also made available for personal parties and business meetings up to 60 people. Chef Mueller looks forward of you to contact them to find out more about the 1,300 sq. ft. tasting room and its availability.
All around, it stands to reason why Bello Cucina is a 4 ½ Star Restaurant with about 400 reviews on Google. Chef Mueller shared with me for about 8 minutes why he uses specific vegetables, tomatoes and spices to provide an authentic Italian experience. It is just one more of the many factors that are a true testament of how serious Chef Mueller is in using the best ingredients to prepare the best taste experiences for his customers.
To some, Bello Cucina is the hidden gem of St. Joseph. But, most patrons that have passed through their doorway know they will be back again and plan on sharing the experience with family and friends in the future. If, and when you go there, be prepared to be blown away by the quality of the food, service staff, and inviting atmosphere. The menu offers a wide variety of Italian dishes, some indeed, are Italian standards in name only (like, Pizza, Rissotto, Rigatoni, Linguine and Fettucini) as the taste stands above its competition whereas, some dishes are very unique to Bello Cucina. After I visited the establishment myself, I believe the only way you might actually be disappointed is if you don’t make the trip to Bello Cucina in the first place. Plan your visit soon and you will be very pleased you did!