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Regular Hours

Extra Phones

Primary Phone: (267) 519-8303

Phone: (267) 858-4600

Phone: (267) 519-8303

Payment method
all major credit cards, amex, master card, visa
Price Range
Center City, Rittenhouse Square
Italian Restaurants, Mediterranean Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Cuisines: Mediterranean, Italian, European, Continental

Price Range : Average


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Provided by Citysearch - 
you can not miss this one

Dining out in the city has become so predictable that I have considered either polishing up my culinary skills, or foraging in the wilds of Jersey.
Shock, but delight met me at the Bella Cena. They do not make food, they create an experience, in fact it is not even food at all, it is a poem.
My needs were filled, my wants satisfied and my faith restored,



Provided by Citysearch - 

I have never had such a ridiculous and negative experience at a restaurant in my life. I went to Bella Cena for a friend's birthday with 15 people. It was during restaurant week and the manager told our party we could not order off the regular menu and we would all have to order 4 courses off of the restaurant week menu. The manager was our waiter and began to take our order. He said he would not walk around the table to take our orders because he had ""other tables to wait on"". He then called out each item on the menu and asked us to raise our hands for each course when he called out what we wanted. After doing this for the first course, he realized he only had 14 first courses written instead of 15. He yelled that this was taking to long and he could not waste his time. He placed a pen and a piece of paper on the table and told us to all write down what we would want. We expressed that it would just be easiest if he walked around the table and took our orders, but he said he would not. Instead, I walked around my table and took everyone's order, and gave to to the manager. Five minutes later he stormed out of the kitchen and shoved the paper and my face saying ""count the second course, you only wrote 14 instead of 15."" I apologized explaining i was not a waitress so it was an easy mistake to make, and he replied ""its math a five year old could do this."" We waited about 40 minutes between courses and the food was sub par. The manager added a 20% tip to our bill, of which he deserved zero. I will never return to this restaurant and do not believe they deserve the business of philadelphia patrons.



Provided by Citysearch - 
What a Terrible Experience

We had eaten at Bella Cena twice and suggested that two other couples join us for dinner there. What a nightmare!!
The service was beyond poor--it was almost scary. The waiter came up after our appitizers and asked if we wanted anything else or just the check--he thought we had already eaten. The entrees were so salty we sent one back and didn't finish the others. The manager gave us a lame excuse about being overbooked and understaffed--boiler plate excuses. Then, to top it off, the waiter told us upon paying that the credit card machine was down. We will never go back. There are too many other good Italian BYOs to have to deal with this amateur hour.,



Provided by Citysearch - 

Best meal - and experience - I've had in years! Our waiter Jason did everything to make us feel like Italian royalty-including setting up an extra table outside, brewing fresh tea and comping the dessert when the other desserts ran out. And the food was phenomenal- you have to try the risotto! We'll be back.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Elegence from Professionals Believing in Quality

Jason, our host and server made a humid evening in Philadelphia magical and wondrous. I'm not sure that I've had a better meal in four to six years. I had the lasagna which melted in my mouth, literally - while the rest of my party enjoyed risotto (mushroom and seafood) as well as veal with a side of pasta in meat sauce. They were packed, but the pianist in the corner, the clear night sky and the friends made the ten minute wait worth it. The appetizers were also mouth melting. Dessert - don't get me started, we shared an enormous piece of tiramisu that will stay on my hips far longer than it lasted on my lips. I'm not from Philly, but I can't wait to go back so that I can enjoy this magical restaurant again. May your good fortune include an evening with Jason as well. He was a true delight and consummate professional.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Perfect for Dinner

We have always loved this spot and Carlo, the perfect host and now Michael, his son. The wait staff are friendly and work together nicely.
We had the grilled sea scallops with pancetta as appetizer, huge and delicious. She had veal scallopine and I the oven roasted duck that fell off the bone, so tender and tasty. A side of pasta, simple with basil and a red sauce, just an afterthought, was mouthwatering.
Tiramisu is home made and should be illegal.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Wonderful neighborhood restaurant

Bella Cena, formerly Primadonna, is one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. We've been going there since it first opened in 2002. The new owner,Michael, son of the former owner, always lets me order things that aren't on the menu and they make it for me without complaining. Unlike many other Center City spots, we never feel rushed here; we can linger over coffee or our last glass of wine for an hour if we want to. The place can get a bit noisy when large groups are there, but that's the price you pay when everyone seems to be having a lot of fun. The food is reasonably cheap, the portions are large (I almost always bring home leftovers), the service is really friendly, and it just feels like home every time we go there. My husband always gets whatever fresh fish is on the menu, which is filleted table-side, and he says their Caesar salad is the best in the city. I recommend the cannelloni and veal Parmesan. Occasionally service can be a bit slow if the restaurant is packed, because there are so few servers, but, for the most part, we have no complaint. Michael aims to please and he hasn't disappointed us yet.



Provided by Citysearch - 
This place is horrible!

This place is horrible. We made reservations at 6 p.m. we go there got seated right away and the waiter doesn't come back till 6:40 to take our order. We sat there they didn't ask us if we wanted anything to drink or anything. and than we finally place an order, and when i get it the pastas undercooked. the only thing good about this place was the parking and the pasta fagioli soup. I would never go there again!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Italian food at a great cost,one of my favorite places to eat.Service is exellent!!!

I like to dine out alot and when i dine here I always have a great time.The staff is well trained and experienced,I recommend you ask for a young man by the name of jason for your server he has a great deal of knowledge for wine and very personable.I found out about this place threw a friend of mine she had a large party here and I just loved it.I highly recommend you try this place.