The other day, I worked up a good appetite after a morning of walking and writing. Though carbs are among the last things my ever expanding waistline needs, I was in the mood for a whole lot of carbs. Since I was in Strongsville, I decided to satisfy my carb craving by going to the restaurant J Bella, which is located at 12201 Pearl Rd.
When I first walked into the restaurant, I was a bit deterred because it took a good minute for me to be greeted and seated. It wasn't an excessively long amount of time, but it was just enough for me to start considering finding another place to get lunch.
However, just as I began looking toward the exit, I was greeted and seated, and soon enough, the friendly and attentive service from my waitress made up for the initially cool reception. She was quick to bring me a glass of water with a lemon wedge, which she was also quick to refill often.
As for food, I started with one of the specials the restaurant was offering for the day - New England clam chowder. The tasty chowder came out piping hot, and it was creamy with a good amount of clam meat and potatoes. Along with the chowder, my server brought me crackers and a basket of complimentary bread.
For my main course, I decided to get the pappardelle alla vodka ($20). When the dish arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by the generous portion of pasta. It would have been a good amount of pasta for dinner, but considering it was off the lunch menu, it was especially generous.
In addition to being filling, the pasta was delicious. The pappardelle noodles were well-cooked without being overly soft and were covered in a rich, delicious, creamy vodka blush sauce. Between the clam chowder, butter that accompanied the free bread, and blush sauce, my lactose-intolerant body would later be struggling, but the struggle paled in comparison to the deliciousness of the pasta, which I absolutely devoured.
For the sake of my waistline, I should have stopped at the pasta, but I asked my waitress what was her favorite dessert from the restaurant. When she said, "Oh, the bread pudding," I had to get it because I'm a sucker for bread pudding.
And I was definitely a sucker for J Bella's bread pudding ($9). Like the pasta, the portion of bread pudding was generous and big enough to share between 2 people (but my gluttonous self ate it all by myself). The bread pudding was warm, soft, and inviting. It had a few raisins, which I confess aren't my favorite, but the presence of them was overshadowed by the overall deliciousness of the dessert, which was topped with powdered sugar and strawberries.
Overall, I thought my meal was fantastic and reasonably priced, considering that I wasn't charged extra for the clam chowder (at J Bella, your main course comes with soup at no additional charge; you can also get a salad instead of soup). Note: If you pay for your meal with a credit card like I did, it does come with a 3% checkout fee.
If you want to check out the restaurant for yourself, you can find it at 12201 Pearl Rd, Strongsville, OH 44136.