Bella Italia

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Bella Italia
Bella Italia specializes in Sicilian style, top, and New York style thin crust pizza.

The never-ending search for good pizza took me to the corner of Michigan Street and Conway Road recently. That’s where Bella Italia has taken up residence in a small storefront space.

Actually, Bella Italia is more than just a pizzeria. The menu lists a variety of the usual Italian restaurant suspects, such as chicken parmesan, lasagna, pasta with marinara or clam sauce. There’s even a a list of nine vegetarian dinners.

But I was here for pizza.

BI does two types of pizza, the thin crust New York style and a thicker slice, called Sicilian style here, that is almost like pizza bread. Or at least that’s what it looks like, a really thick crust with some sauce and cheese on top. Not quite like a Chicago deep-dish pizza, more bread than toppings. I don’t usually care too much for such a pizza, but I have to say the slice I sampled at Bella Italia was pretty tasty. The crust -- actually, when something dominates the dish as this does it doesn’t really qualify as a crust; let’s call it the endodermis of the pizza -- had a light and buttery taste. And the cheese and sauce that was spread on top were just right.

The traditional slice of pizza was also quite enjoyable. The crust was crisped just so and had a very nice elastic quality. The sausage I had requested was layered on top, not a lot, but not too skimpy, either.

I think overall the quality of pies is improving in Central Florida. We still have a ways to go before good pizzerias are on every corner, but we’re making progress.

Bella Italia is in Mariner’s Village at 4662 E. Michigan St., Orlando. It’s open for lunch and dinner daily. Free delivery is available. The phone number is 407-737-2000. Here’s a link to Bella Italia’s Web site.

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