The traditional Margherita pizza at BellaBrave in Downtown St. Pete is light and delicious. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.

BellaBrava Says Bravo To Our Evolving Taste Buds

What is it about food that brings people together? Since the beginning of human history, people have come together for meals. Yes, for survival, but there’s more to yummy eats than that. We make friends at the table, cut business deals and clink our glasses to new blessings. Why not share these memories over food that satisfies our cravings in an eatery that sets the tone for a joyous occasion? BellaBrava, located at 204 Beach Drive Northeast in Downtown St. Pete, aka DTSP, is a popular Italian restaurant with rave reviews and friendly service that is down right delicious.

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday:  11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Friday – Saturday:      11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday:                         12:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Happy Hour: Daily from Open till Close

If you like risotto, order the Arancini Pomodoro at BellaBrava in Downtown St. Pete. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.
If you like risotto, order the Arancini Pomodoro at BellaBrava Italian REstaurant in Downtown St. Pete. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.

 

In 2005, Rob Sanderson and Dyce Craig opened BellaBrava after their return from exploring Italy. It all began when they realized that the St. Petersburg, Florida area was lacking an authentic Italian pizza place that served wood-fired thin crust pies. That is when these two got the miraculous idea of opening up their own place. After teaming up with Milan-born chef Mario Maggi, the concept grew from pizzeria into a true trattoria (and wine. Lots of wine).

The traditional Margherita pizza at BellaBrave in Downtown St. Pete is light and delicious. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.
The traditional Margherita pizza at BellaBrava in Downtown St. Pete is light and delicious. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.

Their tagline is “authentic and original” as they put their efforts toward creating a menu showcasing Italian choices rather than Italian-American options (which means lighter and healthier). As the BellaBrava team continues to travel outside of the local community, they bring back delicious ideas to test, try and make their own. Which means more reasons to visit BellaBrava!

BellaBrava in Downtown St. Pete
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.

Sanderson and Craig (and everyone else in DTSP) agree that St. Pete has progressed a tremendous amount recently. The local culinary market’s taste has become more sophisticated and that is a great thing for restaurants like BellaBrava. This has given them the chance to evolve and grow as well. As the community recognizes good food and service, restaurants have to stay on top of their game. How does BellaBrava do that? They actually listen to the feedback from guests and in return, the community has molded them into what they are now. They contribute their success to being extremely guest focused. If they get criticism on a dish, they can change it right away to offer a better experience (and they’ve done it).

BellaBrava has noteworthy partners in Downtown St. Pete. One of our favorites in St. Petersburg Distillery.
BellaBrava has noteworthy partners in Downtown St. Pete. One of our favorites in St. Petersburg Distillery.

“This whole thing has been a partnership between us and the community,” co-owner Rob Sanderson sincerely said. “Where we are now is a mirror of how we’ve worked with the community and vice versa. This is where we’ve ended up and we’re always listening.”

Are you a fan of clams? Try the Linguine Con Vongole at BellaBrava in DTSP. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.
Are you a fan of clams? Try the Linguine Con Vongole at BellaBrava in DTSP. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.

With a growing selection of places to eat in Downtown St. Pete, why choose BellaBrava? As good food and traditional Italian values are their baseline, their service sets them apart from others. The front of house staff is educated on wine pairings, taste descriptions and is knowledgeable on exactly how each dish is made in the kitchen. Plus, the waitstaff is friendly and the hostess is always welcoming. BellaBrava is a happy place!

BellaBrava in Downtown St. Pete
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.

As you scan the menu that changes every three months or so, give the Pork Milanese a whirl. It is hand-breaded and flash fried, served on top of an arugula and tomato salad with a lemon vinaigrette and is one of Rob’s favorite right now. Dyce suggests the Trattoria Chicken Parmesan, which can be a boring dish at other places, however the way they pair it with prosciutto and fontina is spectacular. Of course, since BellaBrava was founded on the idea of good pizza, try any one. The locals love these wood-fired flatbreads created from fresh in-house dough. Mmm Pizza!

Even the Insalate is worth a try at BellaBrava. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.
Even the Insalate is worth a try at BellaBrava. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography.

Is your tummy grumbling yet? Stop into BellaBrava for lunch or dinner today and tell them that DowntownStPete.com sent you. Just like the local’s taste buds are evolving, so is our growing online community. Create a profile on DowntownStPete.com to interact with other people who work, live and play in DTSP. Find out more 5-star places to go (just like delicious BellaBrava), the unique and interesting personalities who make up the community (because we wouldn’t be where we are today without people like Rob Sanderson and Dyce Craig), and of course those great things to do in Downtown St. Pete that keep us smiling and having the time of our lives. While you’re here, post a few photos onto Downtown Now to share what you’re doing in DTSP. We can’t wait to hear from you!

DowntownStPete.com would like to thank BellaBrava owners Robert Sanderson (left) and Dyce Craig (right) for sharing their story with Erika Cain.
DowntownStPete.com would like to thank BellaBrava owners Robert Sanderson (left) and Dyce Craig (right) for sharing their story with writer Erika Cain. We give this place our local stamp of approval! Have you seen our stickers around town? Would you like one? Or to be featured? Contact us via email at Content AT downtownstpete.com. 
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Downtownstpete.com Content Writer Also known as The Mistress of Magic: Gypsy Allure.