Mystery Diner in Algonquin: Bella’s Wood Fire Pizzeria sparks appetites

New eatery is sister establishment

Bella's Wood Fire Pizzeria, 123 S. Main St., Algonquin

The trend for wood-fired pizza tends to include pies that go beyond what many consider a “traditional” slice.

While nearly brand-new to diners, Bella’s Wood Fire Pizzeria carries on (and out) the tradition of making pizzas that go beyond Italian sausage, pepperoni and assorted vegetables.

Opened just two months ago in downtown Algonquin, Bella’s is a new restaurant with a longer history in the village. It’s operated by Cucina Bella co-owners Tony and Brittany Colatorti, and is across the street from the Italian restaurant they have operated since 2005.

Don’t get us wrong. While their specialty pizzas include both a classic sausage ($19) and a Margherita ($17) version, the pizzas are offered in a variety of topping combinations not typically seen in these parts, in both red and white styles.

There are also pies with soppressata. The Italian dry salami might be related to pepperoni, but it isn’t, either. There is more of a peppery kick.

Prosciutto is featured on several pies, including the Capricciosa ($22) that I shared with a friend during our recent visit.

Capricciosa pizza with prosciutto, artichokes, fresh mozzarella, portabella mushrooms & black olives at Bella's Wood Fire Pizzeria, 123 S. Main St., Algonquin

My dinner partner and I started with the Baked Goat Cheese Suprema ($14), a warmed goat cheese and tomato sauce appetizer with crostini. As a starter, it was light enough to not overstuff us before the pizza arrived, and had a nice sweet taste to it. As someone who does goat cheese with marinara as a house party appetizer quite regularly, I really enjoyed the sauce. Nothing there tasted like it came out of a can or jar.

Baked Goat Cheese Suprema, one appetizer at Bella's Wood Fire Pizzeria, 123 S. Main St., Algonquin

That is one highlight the Colatortis promised with the wood-fired pizza location – the same sauces that call back to their families in the Sannicandro area of Italy and that are used at Cucina Bella.

The Sannicandro inspiration also shows up on the appetizer menu with a meat and cheese plate ($24), all made with products imported from the region.

From the outside, the restaurant building looks like a tiny storefront, but it does include several levels, as well as a bricked outdoor dining area for those looking for al fresco summer pleasures.

Because we showed up a bit late for a dinner, I was pleased that the food did not take long to arrive and we were out well before close.

We made sure to leave room for dessert once I saw Pizza Nutella on the menu. Available in half ($8) and full sizes ($14), the dessert comes in a half-order that is more than enough for two people. The dish’s wedges of dough baked in the brick oven arrive with whipped cream, strawberry and banana slices and a Nutella drizzle guaranteed to break anyone’s Keto-diet plans. Ask the kitchen to cut the wedges a bit bigger than they might otherwise. That makes it a little easier to use the slices to scoop up the other carbs.

For this tiramisu ($7) aficionado, it was a toss up between the Pizza Nutella and the aforementioned tiramisu. It begs for another visit and personal taste test.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.

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WHAT: Bella’s Wood Fire Pizzeria

WHERE: 123 S. Main St., Algonquin

PHONE: 847-727-9490