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Bettola

2901 Second Ave. South, Downtown (Pepper Place)
731-6499
www.bettolarestaurant.com
Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Beer and wine; no reservations. Italian trattoria specializing in pizza made in the authentic Neopolitan style, with fresh-tasting tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella imported from Italy. In addition to pizza, you'll find build-your-own antipasti; salads; small plates such as grilled country bread with eggplant, peppers, basil and capers; and oven-roasted entrees and pastas. Like no other pizza in town.
Bhamdining.com Review (July 2007)

Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 02:55PM by Registered CommenterDeborah Lockridge in | Comments36 Comments

Reader Comments (36)

I was recently introduced to this relatively new little Italian Bistro and upon entering I was drawn in by the warm and tranquil ambiance. The wall behind the bar to the left of the entrance is covered with a very well rounded variety of wines to suit ones taste, and the small but quaint open kitchen is just beyond that. I first tried the simple but flavorful insalata misto (assorted greens, balsamic vinegar and olive oil), and then moved on to a pasta dish which included lamb meat instead of the traditonal ground beef. This special little place has a unique spark to it which I thing many will find very appealing!(November 2006)

June 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNoelle Cooper

They have good food, but HORRIBLE service. It ruins my meal each time we're there. Lunch is great...because you basically serve yourself. Please, if you are reading this and you are an owner or manager, get a few servers that know how to wait tables, not just text on their cell phones. I could go on and on...

August 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKate

They have the best sandwich in town, but why do they make you pay a 15% gratuity when it is counter service? It would be nice if they would warn you before you pay. What is the tip for....it's not like you have a waiter.

August 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

This place is great! I was a bit skeptical at first, considering the counter service and small dining area. However, the food was excellent! The menu is not extensive, but offers enough to please most. They offer grilled italian flatbread sandwiches, salads, antipasto, & pizza. Our group shared "tastes" with each other so I got to sample the tomato basil soup which was creamy and delicious and served with a biscotti sized crouton. This will be a regular order for me on cooler days. The ceasar salad was okay. I wish it had a stronger anchovy flavor, but there was plenty of fresh parmesean. After I sampled my flatbread sandwich, I didn't offer anyone any tastes -- I kept it to myself. I can't remember the name (Bruccia perhaps?) but it had buffalo mozzarella, arugula, proscuitto and a sundried tomato aoli. Scrumptuous!!! And very filling. These were big sandwiches. No one at our table ordered pizza, but they looked tastey and large enough to feed 2 people. This is a great little treasure that we have here. If word gets out, they may have to expand to hold the crowds.

August 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

I agree with Kate. The service is HORRIBLE! I enjoyed the food and concept but will never return and will warn others.

August 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMS

I will never eat at Bettola again after they are so sneaky about this gratuity. They did not tell me and $13 later I asked. They pointed the fine print out on the bottom of the menu. I think $13 for lunch is a little too steep.

August 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Dear Customers, I wanted to thank you for your comments, on our restaurant. We have been open for a year now and wanted show thanks for your support. I realize that some of you have had poor service and I want to sincerely apologize for the bad experience. My wife and I work hard to provide our customers with the best experience; but sometimes that have fallen short, and we humbly apologize.. We realize that it is a challenge to find the perfect staff. Furthermore, we are constantly striving to educate our staff on what we want for you as a customer. We are always doing our best to improve and provide excellent service...I again apologize for any bad experience you have had. My wife and I are open for any comments; we want the feedback so we can better serve you. That is why we are here..We hope you will give us another chance .Please feel free to email me personally for comments and suggestions, lewisardoninc@aol.com. Thank you...
Sincerely, James Lewis

August 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Hi again, Just wanted to clarify on the lunch gratuity.This was a 2 week trial to try to combine counter service and service at the table, without the delays of having a waiter. We wanted to give the speed of counter service because we know people are pressed for time. We do have a wait staff refilling drinks, serving food, taking plates and getting the customers anything else they need,but without the negative aspects of waiting.I deeply apologize we were just trying provide an optimal balance for the different customer base that like fast counter service and table service. Our wait staff were to inform about the gratuity and it was posted on the Menu. As of today we are not charging the gratuity...We Definitely want people to have a good experience. We want to ask what would you rather have, table service or counter service? Please email me your thoughts,we want to know what you like. Thanks again, and sorry about the inconvenience... lewisardoninc@aol

August 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJames

This place sucks.... Where do you guys pass out job applications? The Fountain??? I have been here 3 times over the last 2 months. The only waiter that is worth a damn is the little short kid with brown hair. Food is excellent as noted above, but you seriously need to replace the wait staff. Girls on their cell phones while my tea glass needed refilling 10 minutes ago... It's silly. Some of these waitresses are beyond "educating". Sometimes it's best to just clean house and start fresh. I will try this restaurant again in 3 months and see if there is improvement.

August 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I love the food! I agree the servers could be better about refilling drinks during the lunch hour - but I have never had a problem where I wouldn't return! Keep up the good work.

September 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCate

My first experience just after opening was terrible and I vowed never to go back. The service was ridiculously bad, and the waiters knew virtually nothing about the menu items. I remember ordering a cheese plate, and asking the waitress about the cheeses, only to get blank stares. After 30 minutes of waiting, somebody came to tell us about the cheeses on the cheese plate, then we got to order...and wait and wait and wait for our food to be prepared.

Well, to make a long story short, I ventured back with my wife and some friends. The service was much better although still with a few problems. Wine was a little overpriced for the selection. Our food however was very good. We sampled several of the appetizers including the calamari and two types of bruschetta--all excellent. Our entrees and salads were good as well. I would consider going back, but not on regular basis as there are other places in town that are a better value in terms of the overall experience (food, service, and price). Knock $1-$2 off each menu item and wine bottle/glass and this would be the appropriate price point for this place.

September 23, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbg

A real gem in Bham.

November 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShia

Fantastic pizza...GREAT PLACE. I really appreciate the owner posting on here....to bad others on here just seem to want to talk negative about someone.

December 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercathie

I went here for the first time a few weeks ago and thought food was excellent. Plus this is the only place in Birmingham I have found a Nero D'avola by the glass. I want to go back :)

December 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSS

I'm glad we waited to try Bettola. We went last month, and it couldn't have been better. Our waiter was perfectly competent, and the food? Oh my goodness. The four cheese pizza is like a melted cheese plate. The cheeses are distinct rather than all blended together, so you get to take a bite of each melted cheese separately, or several together. And you can use the extra crust to dip into the goat cheese... Wonderful.
Thank you for improving the service. We would be so upset if the service kept us from coming back as it has at Chez Lulu.

May 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterandrea

This comment is for the ownwers. Counter service is almost always a bad idea in a a place like Bettola. It's confusing and erractic and often, people feel compelled to tip anyway, which is very annoying when you're not getting full table service. When you ahve no waiter, drink refills and anything else you might need during ghe course of your meal fall to the wayside. You get your food and then you get ignored. And you are not going to get good servers when they are not getting tipped. It's a lose-lose sitation and stressful for the customer, which is the one thing dining should never be.

May 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteremily

I've eaten at Bettola three times since they opened and would do so more often if I didn't live 120 miles away. It has now been over a year and my fiance and I are getting married July 12th. Guess where I plan for our first meal to be as husband and wife? Yep, Bettola! It's worth getting married for. :)

May 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarey Dodson

I have to agree with everyone else here. The food is absolutely amazing, but the service is absolutely terrible.

June 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Follow-up to my previous post: Went back the next day. Sadly, my second experience was just as everyone else described theirs to be, except the food wasn't as good. I don't know who was manning the pizza, but there was nothing exceptional about it on my second visit. It was very disappointing. That and our waiter kept seeming to forget about us - and we had brought my in-laws who were in from out of the country. Embarrassing.
And yes, went again because some friends wanted to. We were at our table for about 30 minutes on a relatively quiet night. We received water and... waited...and waited... We finally received unremarkable service. Really, what is going on with the waiters at this restaurant that they care so little?

June 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterandrea

My wife and I met some friends there 2 weekends ago. We ordered pizzas, antipasti, and wine...we sat outside, it was a nice night. No complaints on the service other than the fact that they did not split our check between the two couples, and we had to split it ourselves. Food was good, I can't say outstanding...but intriguing enough to come back for another try. If anything perhaps my pizza was a little too cooled off from the oven when it was served. Wine was great and average price for the quality.

July 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTom

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