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Bellini's Ristorante & Bar

6801 Cahaba Valley Rd., Suite 106 (Hwy. 119), Hoover (across from Meadowbrook Post Office in Inverness/Greystone area)
Organic black angus beef, veal, seafood and classic Tuscan Italian dishes; extensive wine selection and weekly dessert specials. A few that sound mouth-watering include Oysters Bellini (baked oysters stuffed with shallot and smoked pancetta served with bechamel sauce and spinach), puff pastry-encrusted crab; Lasagna Involini (lasagna tower with tomato sauce topped with buffalo mozzarella and stuffed with Italian sausage and cheese). Chef Benard Tamburello owns the well-regarded Bernie's On Main in Columbiana. In 2004 he and his wife, Sophia, purchased La Dolce Vita in Hoover. Sophia's parents were born and raised in Benevento Italy. Chef Benard is a second generation Italian and has a background in Sicilian food.

Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 10:06PM by Registered CommenterDeborah Lockridge in | Comments20 Comments

Reader Comments (20)

I cannot say enough good things about this place. The server was just outstanding and made us feel like we were being served by a real New York waiter. He wasn’t in your face nor doing the typical Alabama waiter thing we have seen in so many places. He definitely didn’t have an Alabama accent. We had two bottles of wine that were a perfect pairing unfortunately we couldn’t remember the server’s name because we got a bit tipsy. We have tried a few other Italians and while Bottega and gianmarco's serve excellent food they just don’t have the professional new York style service we got at Bellini’s.

They suggested the Steaks and veal chop and gave a beautiful presentation of the specials. We choose the veal chop and grouper and it was as good as we get at Mario Batali’s Carnevino Italian Steakhouse in Manhattan. The bread pudding and tiramisu were also excellent. The entire meal was outstanding and the service was better than any other place we have ever had in this area. It sure is nice to have an Alabama restaurant that can finally keep up with New York, and boy do they.

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Excellent food and service. Tried Bellini's on the recommendation of a friend. I took a group of girls from work. We sat a the bar and had a few drinks which were all excellent. The bartenders recommendations were perfect. We were seated in an semi secluded area in the bar. It was perfect for the "girls". We ordered appetizers, baby wedge, caeser salad and several of the daily dinner specials. All were served to perfection. Our server took excellent care of us. We could not have asked for a better meal and service. We will be regulars.

July 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

We decided to take the family out for dinner. We had heard good things about Bellinis from our friends but were unsure if kids would enjoy. We were happy to see the restaurant was kid friendly. We sat outside and my wife and I were able to have a drink and dinner. We shared the pastel formaggio (think that is how you spell it) as an app and it was excellent. I ordered the chicken toscana and my wife had the barramundi fish special. Both dish were presented very nice and were nice and hot. The kids ordered pasta/sauce and chicken fingers. Both were excellent. Our sever was excellent and the hostess greeted us promptly both arriving and departing. We had an excellent time and will be regulars.

July 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

Tried restaurant on a recommendation from a co-worker for my husbands birthday. The restaurant is decorated beautifully and the atmosphere was up beat in the bar and relaxing in the main and private dining rooms. The service was top notch and the food was excellent. Both owners stopped by to say hello and that was a very nice touch. Highly recommend.

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Just got home from a very disapointing night at Bellini's. First, I had a reservation for over a week and when we arrived we were seated in the bar. We had the bar crowd almost touching our chairs on one side. We had to listen to the TV in the bar all night and it was much too loud and tuned to a station like MTV or the equavilant. We had to give up even trying to carry on a conversation with our guest on the other side of the table. When asked about our experience, I told the chef that I could not believe they would take a reservation and not tell you they were seating you in the bar. He apologized but that was it. I wish I could say the food overcame the bad experience with the seating, but it did not. Very ordinary for what should have been an upscale experience. Bellini's will not get a second chance.

December 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDisapointed

Went to Bellini's at the request of a friend (who was in our party) and were extremely disapointed. The appetizer special was mussels, when they arrived they were "rancid". We let the waiter know, and he said he would let the chef know. Unfortunately, we were still charged full price. The atmosphere was very noisy and not at all what we expected. Slow service and much too pricey for the quality of food we experienced. Won't be back

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Went with another couple. Started at bar and my wife had their specialty bellini and I had a glass of cabernet. Both were very good quality and were not over priced. We watched Michael Buble on the tv and then moved to our table. The bar was very busy. Our waiter was very knowledgable and the chefs specials were excellent. I had their steak special and my wife had the grouper. The couple we were with enjoyed their meals also. I would recommend this restaurant.

January 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Bellin's will give you THE best steak in Birmingham. Bar none. Bernards Italian fare is superb, just like La Dolce Vita but the meat is SPECTACULAR!!

From the servers who know thier wines to a tee, to the front Bartender who will make about what ever drink you want, Bellini's is a 10+++

January 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

We ate here Saturday night. What a wonderful evening. Yes, without appetizers and desserts we still spent close to $100 for dinner and a glass of wine each. However, I feel it was money well spent. I had a steak and my husband had a seafood pasta dish (the name escapes me). Our server, Drew was excellent. He made wonderful suggestions and explained items perfectly. I loved the decor of the restaurant and look forward to going back.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJ Davis

We have tried this place twice. The food is great and well prepared but the staff is subpar. As new Yorkers we expect top level service from a staff that is inherently good at what they do but on both occasions our servers Will and Katie were just not compatible with the food and decor. While they seemed knowledgeable and friendly we couldn't help but feel they were originally trained at an Applebee’s or Chilies and that ruined some pretty decent food. Katie complained several times to another server about their performance in front of our table and we couldn’t believe that she was doing this as she was doing exactly what she was telling them they were doing. Her service was ok but it was too slow to be such a mediocre server. Will did something similar at the bar service station to the bartender about another server and we heard everything. He seemed to have been drunk before he worked and it was such a turnoff that after the second time we will not be going back. There are just too many choices and we expect the staff to at least be near in quality to the food. The food was great but without the service we may as well go to Tria's.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstan

I want to say thank you to the entire staff at Bellinis!! I had a a very important client in from New York who needless to say has eaten at many fine restaurants. Trying to up the ante was a challenge but one more than achieved at Bellinis! It began at the door with Abbey, one of their delightful hostesses who escorted us to the bar while we awaited our table. The bartenders Miguel and Nicole were quite busy but greeted us immediately and kept our drinks well timed and well made. From there we were served at our table by Molly and Katy. Their service was outstanding! Their knowledge of fine wine and pairings was great. The executive chef Brian Alford stopped by the table, shared some of his knowledge and made sure everything was in order. My client said this was the best dining experience he has had in the south in many years. I will be taking many clients there in the future.

April 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTom Long

This place is ok but the staff really needs help. i read the other post and we also had Molly who has a great demeanor but isn't as knowledgable about wine as we expected. She seemed fine with all of the basics that are covered in wine magazines but didn't know that much about the process of making wines nor in wines outside of California. We love to talk wine and we expected her to at least know the difference between a Barolo a Brunello and a Barbersco which she was completly unaware of.The food was at least good but she also seemded very stressed which added to a less than good time.The staff needs more wine training.

May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterS.T.

I think Bellini's rocks, not to mention their knowledge of fine wines and great food!

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

I have been to Bellinis twice. Both times the service and food were excellent. I travel all the time for business and I would rank Bellinis in the top 5 as one of my favorites. I had the steak the first time and a fish special the second. The steak is the best in Birmingham. The service was very good and my waiter was knowledge about the Italian wines.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

On a Tuesday night my daughter and I decided on Bellinis at the last minute and we were so glad we did. The waitress was very friendly and attentive but not overbearing. Once our food started coming we were blown away. The portions were very generous, presentation was great and tasted phenomenal. She had the salmon on basil mashed potatoes and I had a veal chop to die for. We will definately go back. Great job!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Went to Bellinis on Tuesday night. They had a wine tasting setup and I was able to try several different Italian wines. I will be a regular at the Tuesday wine tastings. Our dinner was excellent. Best steak in town in my opinion. My friend had the halibut fish special and it was over the top. Keep up the good work.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnderson

Bellini's is a "special occasion" restaurant for my husband and me, but we look forward to our anniversary meal all year due to the incredible food and service. The portion sizes are more than generous. We've never had a steak over-cooked or served cold (which happens often because I go for medium-rare and he goes for medium-well). The servers are very knowledgeable on the menu, and it is clear from the quality of the food that they focus on fresh, local ingredients. I really cannot say enough good things about this restaurant.

September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

Went to dinner at Bellini's this evening highly disappointed!! The food was cold and tasted bland. I informed the server that I was not happy with my meal and he did nothing. (Edited by admin)

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Recently moved to the area and this restaurant was recommended to us by a neighbor. My husband and I went on our date night and we were not sure what to expect when we pulled up to the restaurant. It is located in a newly built shopping center. The outside was pleasant and inviting.

It was nice to have the door opened for us when we arrived. We had reservations and asked if we could have a drink at the bar before sitting down. The bartender Leslie was very polite and recommended a wine for both my husband and I.

Our dinner was very good. We split the house wedge salad. It was enough for both of us to start of the meal. We skipped the appetizer because we both wanted to save room for dessert. My husband selected the filet and was the best he has had in a long time. I opted for the grouper and it was very good. We finished the meal with their bread pudding. The service and food made the night for us. We will be back. Next time we might sit at the bar as it seemed very lively up there.

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterA Heathcock

I just returned from a very disappointing dining experience at Bellini. The service there has always been barely adequate, but the food has been good enough to compensate. Tonight, however, the waiter argued with me on three different occasions, from drinks all the way to dessert. It made the whole experience miserable.

At the end of the "dining experience", I asked to speak to a manager, which the waiter refused at first. Finally, a manager did come to the table and later even offered to take a drink off the bill. If Bellini's wants to compete with restaurants like Highlands, Bottega, Hot'n'Hot, Gianmarco, etc., they really need to pay attention to service. There are many really great restaurants in Birmingham - measured both by food quality AND service.

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrequent patron

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