Grand Rapids Magazine Top 10 Restaurant of 2021: Bistro Bella Vita

Standing the test of time.
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Editor’s note: This is Part 6 of a 10-part series on the top 10 Grand Rapids restaurants for 2021. To see a list of all of the restaurants, click here.

Since 1997, the Heartside neighborhood has been graced with the constantly delicious Italian- and French-style cuisine from Bistro Bella Vita, 44 Grandville Ave. SW. The restaurant’s classic décor is warm and inviting while the waitstaff is always charming and going above and beyond to make your experience memorable.

Bistro offers a variety of experiences from romantic booths, an energetic bar, urban patio tables and an option for private parties in one of its spacious dining rooms.

Head chef Dan Blanchard is constantly producing new and exciting seasonal menu options while continuing to offer patron favorites like the beef brisket bourguignon and the rigatoni Bolognese. Bistro Bella Vita’s commitment to its patrons continued throughout the past year as the restaurant faced the increasing challenges of the pandemic.

Owner James Berg recently announced a VIP Wine Club to stay connected to guests and keep them updated on delicious everyday bottles and premium selections. The VIP Wine Club has two membership options: Tier 1, which offers three bottles of thoughtfully curated wines for $50/month, and Tier 2, which offers three bottles of premium wine selections for $100/month. Both subscriptions offer free delivery to the greater Grand Rapids area, a free month of VIP Wine Club, and exclusive access to pre-sale offers including wine dinners, specialty wines and flash sales.

In addition to its VIP Wine Club, Bistro continues to offer takeout and delivery service. Berg notes that Bistro’s takeout family-style dinners have been particularly popular. Bistro offers many different family styles ranging from $50-$100. Some favorites are the lasagna dinner and dinner for two. Additionally, the restaurant offered special family-style meals for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Berg said the dinners were so popular they sold out.

As regulations seemingly change from week to week, Berg and his staff have been equally dynamic. Bistro Bella Vita has stood the test of time because of its innovative approach to dining and will continue to do so as regulations and restrictions are lifted. If Bistro isn’t on your list for takeout dining you are surely missing out.

This story can be found in the March 2021 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox each month, subscribe here.

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