Larry and Joyce Ward at Bella’s Bistro and Bar, the Italian eatery and drinkery they recently opened at 2402 A St. SE, the former site of Auburn Wine and Caviar. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter

Larry and Joyce Ward at Bella’s Bistro and Bar, the Italian eatery and drinkery they recently opened at 2402 A St. SE, the former site of Auburn Wine and Caviar. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter

Serving up the savory and smooth tastes at Bella’s

Larry and Joyce Ward open new Italian restaurant in south Auburn

Joyce Ward grew up working days in her father’s delis on Long Island, New York, and many were the happy nights she spent at home, one of six kids savoring their Italian mama’s cooking.

Today Ward puts those two foundations of her life to excellent use in the kitchen at Bella’s Bistro and Bar, the Italian restaurant she and her husband, Larry Ward, opened two weeks ago at the former site of Auburn Wine and Caviar at 2402 A St. SE.

The restaurant carries her childhood nickname.

“My grandmother was Tingatella, and my dad used to call me, ‘Bella Tingatella,’ ” Ward explained.

Indeed, for a brief moment, Ward and her sister owned a restaurant called Tingatella’s in Kent.

Excepting the restaurant’s many wines and beers and the pasta itself, everything on the menu, from lasagna to ziti, from chicken parmesan to those mouth-watering sausage-and-pepper sandwiches, Ward whips up herself, by hand, right there at Bella’s.

Among the signature drinks concocted at the full-service bar are “A-Ward-Winning Martini,” a mixture of vodka or gin with added strawberry or raspberry, “Bella’s Raspberry Bellini,” and “Bella Bella Royale.”

For sweet tooths, the restaurant offers cannoli, “crisp, sweet pastry shells stuffed with a decadent filling,” tiramisu, “Death by Chocolate Cake,” and New York cheesecake with a raspberry drizzle.

“It’s comfort-food here, home style, what I like to cook,” Joyce Ward said. “I wanted to keep it simple and keep the prices low.”

The laid-back Mr. Ward is to be found out front with customers. A welder for 40 years, he retired from that profession only three weeks ago to prepare for the bistro and bar’s opening day.

Bella’s cuisine won’t be exclusively Italian all the time. This summer, the couple expect to indulge their American tastes by doing a mess of barbecuing on the restaurant’s patio.

“We’re going to get a nice smoker and cook some ribs, cook up some pulled pork, and if I can learn how to do it correctly. biscuits. Joyce and I barbecue like you wouldn’t believe,” Mr. Ward said.

“Once we’re open for a while, we’ll start incorporating some daily specials, lunch specials dinner specials,” Joyce Ward said.

“The experience we want people to have?” said Mr. Ward, pausing a moment to consider the question.

“I suppose just laid back and comfortable. It’s home-cooked Italian food, like you’d have at home in any Italian family. Nothing high end.”

Bella’s is open from 11 a.m to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

New Auburn bakery Pie Style captures magic of family tradition

‘World still needs good food,’ says owner.

Stock photo
Union files charges against QFC, Fred Meyer over Black Lives Matter button ban

Grocery store workers condemn ban; QFC spokesperson says wristband options available to employees

Facebook purchases unused Bellevue REI headquarters

The companies will also each donate $1 million to the Eastrail

The pandemic’s roots: UW Bothell team models the coronavirus

A team of computational scientists has developed web-based software that maps the virus’ protein spikes.

Free face masks available at King County Safeway locations

Stores to distribute 750,000 purchased by King County starting Aug. 24

Don Brunell
Why we should reconsider nuclear power | Brunell

If Americans are to receive all of their electricity without coal and… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Downtown Auburn Cooperative Main
Auburn businesses plug along in teeth of pandemic

You see an empty store front, an empty warehouse. A COVID-19 closure,… Continue reading

Best of Auburn 2020: There’s still time to vote!

Voting has begin for the Best of Auburn 2020! Visit the Auburn… Continue reading