The staff were attentive and accommodating, giving every table personal attention as if they had all the time in the world.
It was clear the kitchen struggled to deal with several large groups at once. Given that the menu specifically states that the kitchen is "traditional" (in the sense of being small), it's likely wait times will improve after the kitchen is enlarged this month. The acoustics were average, making some conversations hard to hear, and the paper table coverings lowered an otherwise classy tone.
Usually a restaurant has a style that leaves fans devastated that they can't try every single dish on the menu. Bella Vista feels like several good-quality Italian restaurants in one, presumably because they employ several chefs instead of one all-powerful chef and a host of kitchen minions. The garlic and cheese bread was so soft it was as if it was made from butter and clouds, while the bruschetta was all texture and crunch. That pattern of difference continued throughout the courses, making it important to choose the dish that best suited each individual diner. That being said, I took the liberty of claiming it was my job to taste virtually everything, and every mouthful was impeccable.
Gelatos taste the same wherever you go, and Bella Vista's gelatos were no exception, but they still managed to be unique by making extra effort in the presentation. The Chocolate Brulee was for true chocolate-lovers, and the Lemon Tart had a real kick.
Bella Vista is more than a great restaurant: It is a place that feels like it has a love of food and people at its very heart, permeating both food and service to great effect.
It's easy to spot the large neon signs if you drive into the second carpark coming from the direction of Lake Ginninderra College and Ginninderra Drive.