Grilled Ham and Cheese – Bella Brava

Feb 19

Grilled Ham and Cheese – Bella Brava

The distinct possibility of relocating next year for The World’s Smartest Husband’s residency has definitely kicked our local bucket list into high gear. A perfect example? On a recent Saturday we enjoyed the glorious beauty that is the Chihuly Collection in downtown St. Petersburg. This little gem had been on our must-see list for entirely too long. It is a bit on the pricey side for the small collection ($14.95 !) By comparison, The High Museum of Art in Atlanta is only $19.95 and has a vastly extensive collection, several buildings, and visiting exhibits. Be on the look out for coupons or local deals; you can see all you need to see at The Chihuly in  25 solid minutes.

A personal, small-scale favorite.

Not thinking about residency at this particular moment.

After taking in all of the glass-blown goodness, we headed to lunch at Bella Brava. I have been to Bella Brava for happy hour with the ladies, a few delicious dinners, and one of my all-time favorite Yelp events. This was my first time there for lunch. The day before, I had been lucky enough to win a gift card through a Twitter contest.

I had been introduced to the House-made Ricotta and Local Honey appetizer at the aforementioned Yelp night. That little bit of heaven made our appetizer order a no-brainer.

Fresh house-made ricotta, Eden’s Nectar Winter Honey, sea salt & crispy crostini

The sandwich special of the day was ham, Edam, and barbecued chicken on Focaccia bread with chips made on site. This is a running theme: many of the delicious ingredients are made from scratch, and you can really tell the difference.

I ordered the Grilled Ham and Cheese with Tomato Soup. That combination is my idea of perfect comfort food. Of course, Bella Brava takes it to a gourmet level.

Cotto ham, fontina & provolone cheese on grilled brioche bread, with a cup of smoked tomato bisque

I have sincerely enjoyed everything I have eaten at Bella Brava. My only issues: It was a bit dirty the day we visited; I shall blame that on the Post-Valentine stress disorder (we came in first thing the next day) and there was a touch of confusion with the gift card situation (perhaps the media head not keeping managers in the loop.) These minor matters are heavily outweighed by the abundance of quality food, great location, and amiable staff members. Head down to this “New World Trattoria” next time you are looking for a great meal in downtown St. Pete.
BellaBrava on Urbanspoon

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