On March 1, 2012, hundreds of people from Pasadena and the surrounding community came together to celebrate a very special anniversary. It was ten years ago that Pasquale and Biagio Carannante opened Bella Napoli Italian Restaurant, serving delicious homemade pasta and classic Italian food. Over the years, the father and son team have developed a large following in the community, with the restaurant becoming known as much for its warmth and family atmosphere as its delicious Italian cuisine.
Bella Napoli gives patrons the feel of a five star dining experience at an affordable price. The quality of the food and the ambiance of the restaurant keep diners coming back, enabling the restaurant to grow each year since its opening. With special 99 cent pasta nights, Kids Eat Free Tuesdays and Half price dessert Thursday, the family is doing everything they can to ensure those who want to enjoy fine dining can still do so in today’s economy.
Says Pasadena resident Judy Glinka, “Bella Napoli is not just a favorite restaurant, that’s too simple. Over the years we have become good friends with Biagio and Pasquale. Now they are like family, so there was no question where we would have our 25th anniversary dinner, or any doubt as to where our son would have his rehearsal dinner. Everything is made fresh and prepared to perfection – especially the chicken a la chef!”
It’s not just the locals who recognize the quality of the food. Several times over the past few years the restaurant has received recognition for their cream of crab soup, including 1st place at the Maryland Seafood Festival last year.
To mark the milestone of their 10 year anniversary, the Carannante’s decided to say thank you to their customers with a free wine tasting and birthday cake. They expected a fair crowd, but were pleasantly surprised by the tremendous turnout – and glad they ordered six cakes. Says Pasquale Carannante, “It is just great to know that so many people in the community support us the way they do. The outpouring of good feelings tonight has just been breath taking. We are so appreciative, it is just beautiful.”
Running a restaurant has had its challenges, but Carannante is quick to express his gratitude to his business partner. He says with a smile, “Working side by side with Dad can be trying, but it is beautiful to be able to work together and to become closer with him throughout the years. It’s just great.”
If you visit the restaurant and see two adorable little girls sneaking lollipops from the counter, don’t worry. That is just the next generation of Carannantes, who will probably be working along side of their father in about fifteen years. Bella Napoli means beautiful Naples in Italian, but in Pasadena it translates to beautiful family.
Bella Napoli Italian Restaurant is located at 350 Mountain Road (in the Food Lion shopping center,) 410-255-9400; Hours Monday-Thursday 11:00 AM – 9:30 PM, Friday and Saturday 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM and Sunday 12:00 AM – 8:00 PM.
For more information about Bella Napoli, visit their website, or connect with them on their Facebook site. Carannante also maintains a Facebook group – I Love Bella Napoli – where he offers frequent updates on specials and discounts.