Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera (Parkland)

Posted on November 22nd, 2009 · Italian Parkland


Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera, 7351 North State Road 7, Parkland, Florida 333073 (954) 346-7373.

I think Yogi Berra once said…”fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”…or maybe it was Soupy Sales who once said it, or maybe it was Professor Irwin Corey…anyway—

About 5 years ago, I ate at Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera which is an “upscale–white tablecloth” Italian joint in Parkland. 5 years ago, I found the food FAIR—the service FAIR—the prices to be ridiculously and I do mean ridiculously HIGH. Shame on you Pete.

Last night I ate at Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera. I found the food FAIR—the service FAIR—the prices to be ridiculously and I do mean ridiculously HIGH. Shame on you Jeff.

Trust me on this…The veal chop parmigiana ($44.95), eggplant marinara ($23.95), chicken parmigiana (24.95) weren’t even close to being worth the money that this joint fetches.

This joint is an absolute waste of time and good hard earned money.

If you are still interested…Pete’s website has menu/prices details.

16 Comments to “Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera (Parkland)”

  1. LR Boca, Raton says...

    I think you are quoting Lou Costello or maybe Sgt. Bilko. Years ago four of us ate at Buena Sera and couldn’t believe what a ripoff it was. How this restaurant with mediocre food, lousy service and prices that are criminal stays in business is beyond me.

  2. Tim says...

    great food is not cheap and jeff Eats is from Brooklyn that answers all the questions has he ever been to Martaranos?

  3. Kristen says...

    I think cafe bella sera has some of the best shrimp and meatballs period out of any Italian rest. and if you go ask for anthony he is a great waiter and for the amount of food you get is like 2 meals so I think that offsets the price plus now he has an all inclusive dinner package and Pete is now selling pizza!

  4. JeffEats says...

    Tim: Just had a chance to read your comment.

    Just because something costs a lot, doesn’t make it “great.” I know plenty of joints that serve “great” food at very reasonable prices.

    Pete’s food is far from being “great”…but it sure is expensive.

    As far as Brooklyn goes, the borough had/has some of best Italian joints in all of America. Ever heard of Carolina’s, New Corners, Bonaparte’s? By the way, all of these REASONSABLY priced joints served GREAT FOOD. I’ll also bet that you never heard of Di Fara’s Pizza or Totonno’s Pizza which are two of America’s top pizza joints…both in Brooklyn.

    On “Martaronos”…at least spell the joint’s name correctly MARTORANO when using it as an example. By the way, Cafe Martorano is another example of mediocre overpriced food. The joint is for tourists and the see and be seen crowd.

    Thanks for reading…

  5. lr says...

    like you i and some friends tried pete’s about 5-6 years ago. we found the food to be just ok, very overpriced and the service just ok. it should tell you something that in all of the years since we have never even once thought about going back

  6. nick c. says...

    jeff, pete use to cook at anthony’s runway. as you correctly pointed out, anthony’s food is hit and miss. sometimes it is good and sometimes it stinks. same goes for pete’s. total hit or miss. the big difference between the two is that anthony’s gets the real good fellows and has real good help. pete’s gets the wannabes and the waiters are rank amateurs.

  7. Steve says...

    Jeff; You are way off base. We have been going to Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera since he opened, and have never had anything but great food and service. It does not matter if we sit at the bar or a table, the service is always top draw. When you serve the best of product to your customers you are entitled to charge. The fact that the dishes feed 2 people with ease make the price in line and not ridiculous as you off basely stated. You can’t find better meatballs any place in Broward,Dade & Palm Beach County.
    His shrimp are the size of lobster tails. If you think Pete’s is expensive I guess you didn’t look at his new all inclusive menu items at $34.95 fo a full 4 course diner with coffee.( App., salad, main entry, and dessert) I believe it is your loss if you don’t enjoy and see the value of Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera.

  8. jc says...

    went to pete’s website. was immediately greeted to the sound of frank sinatra singing fly me to the moon.
    give me a break, pete. you are trying to give the impression that your restaurant has the class and style of sinatra.
    by the way your menu and prices didnt seem too bad, but that thing trying to cash in on old blue eyes turned me away.

  9. sk says...


  10. Alice says...

    Have to agree with the majority. We ate there for the first time this evening and were greatly disappointed. The yellowtail was tasteless and was served differently than how it was listed on the menu. My husband’s steak was overcooked. The gorganzola salad had an awful glaze on it that overpowered the entire salad and I could not eat it. The spinach was bitter and we had to ask for salt and pepper because they do not put it on the table. The food is extremely over-priced to begin with but ended up not being close to worth it. We eat out often and found this experience one of the worst. I am stunned that this restaurant is busy. Must be all first-timers because anyone with tastebuds would not return.

  11. chewy says...

    went there once and got ripped off for lousy food. never again.

  12. Hayley says...

    WOW and WOW again! I never read write ups, but these are amazing and totally wrong.I have eaten at Bella Sera over 20 times and it is always fantastic! The best meatballs in the world! Portions are huge and only the best ingredients as my taste buds let me know.The place is busy because it is great and the rest. is always upbeat.I always have left overs so it is like getting 2 for 1.Steaks and seafood are out of this world. And the reason why they are so busy is because so many other places have closed, and this rest. will always be open because they serve great high quality food and the staff that works there is always so me it is the best Italian rest. in south florida and just google there name and you will see so many other great write ups from opentable,google, etc. and I do not know why anyone would listen to Jeffeats when he rated Flavors Of Italy, and Fusillis Rest. as great restaraunts and they are both closed because the food was terrible.

    • RF says...

      Your nuts. The food is garbage and it’s overpriced.

  13. gina says...

    1 review Category: Restaurants Italian Italian [Edit]

    7351 N State Road 7
    Parkland, FL 33073

    (954) 346-7373
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    Accepts Credit Cards:Yes
    Good for Groups:Yes
    Good for Kids:Yes
    Takes Reservations:Yes
    Waiter Service:Yes
    Outdoor Seating:No
    Alcohol:Full Bar
    Wheelchair Accessible:Yes
    First to Review Tomas B. Edit Business Info Work Here? Unlock This Business Page

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    Cafe Bella Sera
    Review from Tomas B.
    3 friends48 reviewsTomas B.
    Miami-Dade, FL
    2/13/2010 Have heard for many years listening to South Florida Sports talk radio from its # 1 proponent Sid Rosenberg about Cafe Bella Sera and its great food and atmosphere. Living in Miami Beach it’s close to 40 miles there so I have avoided up until last evening.

    So Off I want not knowing what to expect other than I heard the portions are big, the food good but pricey.

    Arrived to find a non descript restaurant in a strip mall on 441 in Parkland. A bit shocked that the bar and open kitchen dining ambiance had little to nothing to offer as far as class or elegance. A simple place with simple dining are certainly nothing fancy or elegant. Wait staff very helpful, quick and lacked for nothing as far as requests, speed or efficiency simply stated waiters excellent.

    Provided hot fresh bread which was some of the best I’ve had in South Florida & provided good olive oil for dipping. Drink orders taken and menus reviewed. Everything is ala carte and its pricey.

    Appetizers from $10.00 to $20.00 same price for Salads. 3 of us for dinner and we split a Cesar salad & a Mozzarella carozzo $13.95 with spicy tomato sauce. Their quote of “Authentic Cesar Salad” Sorry nothing special here, no anchovies and the dressing was admit tingly from the waiter “Canned or from a Bottle” not home made. Also for the amount of salad $13.95 was ridiculous. The Mozzarella & Carozzo was better but the four pieces deep fried were over cooked but the fra Diablo sauce that covered it was as good as it gets but again $13.95 pricey.

    Dinner was house special Sea bass oreganato over spinach with olive oil and garlic Market price $29.95 – A Old Menu item I was told Veal Chop pounded and stuffed with Prosciutto, mozzarella, and eggplant with a tomato & oil based sauce $49.95 & Veal Cutlet Milanese $27.95 Basil olive oil and demi glaze.

    Sea bass Ok fairly simple but not enough sauce or bread crumb to make this truly oreganato, but fish was fresh and two big pieces provided. Spinach was non descript.

    Veal Cutlet Milanese. Bland I make these at home and they were ok but absolutely NOTHING special.

    Veal Chop Presentation looked unbelievable, but after cutting into it the layers and layers of eggplant over powered any taste the veal may have in fact I had to take all the eggplant out to enjoy the dish. The sauce again non descript and needed something to kick it up.

    Desert tray we had a HUGHE piece of carrot cake and Ricotta cheese cake. This was by far the best part of dinner. Cappachunio was good, espressos as well.

    Total Cost of Bill before Tip $225.00 for 3 persons with 3 drinks and 2 glasses of wine.

    I have to say the build up and the hype was far more than the place delivered. Though the food was good and fresh it certainly didn’t distinguish itself from so many other available options that are out there today. The prices are in short ridiculously over priced. $50.00 for a veal chop come on. Again passable but for these types of prices you expect much more. I prefer Traimontes in Del Rey over this place anytime with 20 -30% less cost on menu items with much more ambiance.

    Lower your prices I may return until such time money is best spent elsewhere

  14. darren says...

    This restaurant closed.

    • Joe V says...

      Yes indeed, this place has finally shut it’s doors…Thank You Restaurant Gods!!!! I ended up getting stuck with a worthless gift card that I bought from Pete. In the past year I have not seen this man cook or be at his restaurant on a regular basis. His daughter, the “manager”, also was not to be seen there whatsoever. The only time I or other customers who used to be regulars would see him or any of his family members would be when he was begging us to buy his gift cards. This ended up being a type of Pyramid scam in the end.

      The restaurant had Zero inventory when I last went at the end of June. Half the items on the menu were not available. Every type of wine or alcohol that I ordered, I was told they were out of. I then had the feeling that this place would be out of business in the near future. The food was horrible that we did get, and the service was terrible. It used to be decent. But Pete stopped coming in because he was always at his vacation home in New Hampshire. All of the great staff he used to have quit. He was pocketing their tip money and I found this out from a bartender who used to work there for years and is now at another local restaurant.

      Many former customers got fleeced with these gift cards. I hear they are trying to open up under another name, in the same location!! Beware!! That family is very dishonest and has incurred the wrath of Parkland residents, all of his former distributors and vendors, and even some former staff members. Do not support these people in the future if they do manage to somehow open with some fancy legal work.

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