Something’s Cooking: Bella’s Café

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 6:59 PM EST
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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - One local New Haven restaurant owner has been creating beautiful dining experiences in Westville for more than 20 years.

The Something’s Cooking crew visited Bella’s Café!

Feast your eyes on one of New Haven’s greatest works of art: the French toast at Bella’s Café.

The iconic Elm City restaurant has been an institution for nearly a quarter century thanks to owner Rose Foote!

“I serve people what I like to eat,” Rose said. “I make it the way I like it. And if it’s not just right as you can ask my staff I’ll make it over again.”

Rose’s dedication to perfection shines through in every dish. Of course she’s had a lot of practice. Rose grew up in diners owned by her parents and grandparents.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 17 so I’ve been cooking for 45 years,” said Rose. “I just think it’s a gift I just love doing it, I do, I love pleasing people.”

But Bella’s is different. Rose makes some dishes you won’t find anywhere else, like her Bella’s Benedict, and her specialty the shrimp and grits.

“We lend ourselves towards a little more southern, because I find southern cuisine more homey and comforting,” Rose said.

“I always go for her biscuits because nobody can make biscuits like Rose,” said Lisa Harris.

Lisa was one of Bella’s first customers 23 years ago. She loves the food, and chit chatting with Rose.

“She’s always so sweet to me and she’s such a wonderful cook,” Lisa said.

Rose named her café after her own nickname, Bella, the Italian word for beautiful that local bakers gave her as a kid, and she’s proud that for 23 years she’s helped ensure her corner of New Haven is well fed.

“I just think it’s a gift I just love doing it I do, I love pleasing people,” Rose said.