Table for Two! – New chef, new menu, new name: Bellavista |

Table for Two! – New chef, new menu, new name: Bellavista

Kirby’s Creekside Restaurant is now the Bellavista Ristorante Italiano, with an Italian chef to launch a brand new menu.

At a recent tasting for the restaurant’s staff, chef Paolo Puddu prepared a selection from the three-page menu. We stopped by briefly and sampled some appetizers, including grilled eggplant rolled and stuffed with ricotta cheese and basil, topped with a marinara sauce; baby spinach with pears and Pecorino cheese with a champagne vinaigrette; and a classic carpaccio – raw, thinly sliced beef served with arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Before (regrettably) having to leave, we sampled one of 10 items from the pasta menu, a creamy classic lasagna with bechamel sauce. Other pastas that looked delicious on the page include raviolis filled with Swiss chard, pine nuts, basil, ricotta and Parmesan, sauteed with garlic, zucchini and marinara sauce; and a risotto with Italian Arborio rice with Italian sausage and melted goat cheese.

From the second-course part of the menu, I can’t wait to try the veal shank stuffed with chopped mixed vegetables, a rack of New Zealand lamb with a mushroom sauce, and roasted half game hen.

Puddu, who worked for many years with the Il Fornaio group of restaurants, is from the Italian island of Sardinia (home of Pecorino cheese). The tradition of fish and seafood from coastal towns there has combined with the game and farm produce from inland areas to create a diverse cuisine.

In turn, the Bellavista’s new owners from Los Angeles – Michele and Julie Sassano, Yolanda Simmons Bachtell and Antonio Campanella – are excited about combining their chef’s new menu with with one of Nevada City’s loveliest locations, alongside the rushing Deer Creek.

The restaurant, at 101 Broad St., is open for dinner Monday-Saturday from 5-9:30 p.m., and Sunday 5-8:30 p.m. Lunch is served Monday-Saturday, noon-2:30 p.m., and Sunday brunch is 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Call 265-3445 for reservations.


After seeing the teasing “Opening Soon” sign on Five Mile House for months, word comes that the venerable roadhouse dating back to stagecoach days is opening next Tuesday, Sept. 7, at Highway 20 and Scotts Flat Road. It’s going to be what the press release describes as a moderately priced steak and seafood place with “Pacific Rim flair.” Look for a story in The Union by business writer George Boardman … We also hear that plans are afoot for a Jimboy’s Tacos to move into the vacated Togo’s location in Brunswick Basin … The Old California Restaurant on East Main Street in Grass Valley apparently has gone out of business … Share any area restaurant news or ideas for a Table for Two! interview with Rich Somerville at The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945, or e-mail

Extra helpings

Previous Table for Two! conversations can be found at

Friar Tuck’s

111 N. Pine St., Nevada City


Bar open 4 p.m. daily. Dinner Sunday-Thursday, 5-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5-10 p.m.

Old Town Cafe

110 Mill St., Grass Valley


Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Trolley Junction at the Northern Queen Inn

400 Railroad Ave., Nevada City


Monday through Wednesday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thursday and Sunday 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Big A Root Beer Drive-In

810 E. Main St., Grass Valley


Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

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