Mia Bella - Downtown - Italian

Menu Selections:  Insalata di Spinaci

I’ve actually been here for their brunch before and thought it was a hidden gem that no one knew about it, so when a customer suggested we try it for lunch, I was excited.  It’s definitely not a hidden gem for lunch, however, for 2 reasons.  One:  it was overflowing with people (literally) and two:  my lunch did not hold a candle to the brunch.  We waited for about 20 minutes before they finally sat us in the neighboring tapas restaurant.  The service was a little slow, but understandable since there was such a lunch rush. For instance, it took quite a while for her to retrieve the parmesan and cracked pepper that we requested…but, she was overall, friendly and attentive.  The place itself primarily used antique gold colors with Picasso-esque murals adorning the walls.  It showcased a long bar area that I imagined could get busy for brunch or before a Rockets game.  The bread was actually pretty damn good (not as good as Artura Boadas), but was soft and warm with a floury finish and the spices in the oil were plentiful.  The salad had entirely too much dressing on it….it could have easily been mistaken for a soup.  This caused the spinach to be wilted and floating in it.  In addition,the Prosciutto pieces were chunks (similar to bacon bits), instead of the thinly shaved pieces I was envisioning. And to top it off, the scallops were minuscule (think smaller than the size of mini marshmallows).  Despite the shape/form, the flavors of all the ingredients were pretty good…which meant the dressing was good because everything was saturated in it.  In sum, don’t order a salad…the other items on the menu must be good since it was so crowded…perhaps they were having the brunch for lunch.

Will I be back?  If a customer really, really, really, wants to go there for lunch.  Absolutely for brunch..I’ll include a supplemental review at a later date.

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