Mon Bella opened in 2008 in the former Vintropolis and Industry restaurant space. They are French/Italian (hence the “bistoria” tagline), so steak frites and bolognese are on the menu. When I first tried the restaurant, the food was good, but I’ll admit – I still preferred the nearby Smoking Dog.
A few kitchen personnel changes later, Chef Brian Fowke (former chef of Rare and Metro) took the helm of Mon Bella in December 2008. I’ve been three times since Chef Fowke took over, and the food is significantly better. Chef Fowke has adjusted the menu and the restaurant is introducing “seasonal” offerings in addition to the regular menu.
Some dinner items I’ve tried:
- Alla Griglia Squid – Grilled calamari, mixed with bucatini noodles and a light sauce of garlic, tomato, and lemon. Fantastic flavour, but the texture of the squid and noodles together is kind of iffy.
- House salad: mixed greens, beet croutons. Fresh and simple.
- Beef short rib, potatoes, cornichon pickles, and a cheese crisp. Tender beef complimented with the salty pickles.
- Tagliatelle alla Bolognese. Thick tagliatelle noodles, a rich and salty beef sauce, and a poached egg with a runny yolk make the sauce rich and yummy.
Mon Bella also started weekend brunch this past weekend, 10:30-3:00pm on Saturday and Sundays. I stopped by this weekend – the place was very quiet, but a few more tables came in after I sat down. My friends ate the french toast, stuffed with peaches and pepper jelly, topped with lemon creme fraiche. They both gave good reviews. I had a croque-monsieur with a small, tasty chopped salad. With a fresh cup of JJ Bean coffee, we were happy.
So, Mon Bella – good food, reasonably priced, and a lovely Kitsilano neighbourhood joint. I hope they stay around for a while.
Notable specials at Mon Bella:
- On Tuesday nights, the restaurant features three appetizers paired with three glasses of wine for $20.
Or, between 4pm and 7pm Tuesday to Sunday, you can order a glass of wine and three appetizers for $8.
Mon Bella is open for dinner, Tuesday to Sunday, from 4:00pm, and brunch Saturday & Sunday, from 10:30am.
Last modified: January 19, 2009