Chicagoans: A or B?

No C, so please work with me here. Old-school Italian dinner, two choices: Bella Notte or LaScarolo? These are proposed for a dinner next week. What do you think?


La Scarola (note spelling) is pretty traditional. I like their food a better better, but they tend to be bad with reservations (timing) and the restaurant is very crowded. If you don’t mind tight tables you’ll be ok. If you’re looking for a leisurely dining experience, not a great spot.

I haven’t been to Bella Notte in a while. The food was pretty good the last time I went, but it wasn’t in the last few years. They were better about reservations and have a bigger dining room.

So I guess I’d say if the food is of utmost importance La Scarola. If it’s enjoying the company of friends in a comfortable environment, Bella Notte.

Very useful, thanks! I already had heard LS was noisier, so that might swing this one to BN.


Really enjoyed Bella Notte, the place is exactly what you want when you think “old school Chicago Italian,” opera playing on the sound system, low lights, full bar with tuxedoed bartender, maître d’ from a Sopranos cast photo, friendly service, decent wine list, quite good food (terrific seafood, pastas, and a fabulous veal chop, etc.), and nearby tables filled with local characters. We loved it and will return. (And, next door is an amazing live music bar – MVie “Behind the Brown Door”)


Glad that you had a nice experience, maybe it’s time to pay BN a return visit.

Thanks for the follow-up Andrew.