In the early nineties, Alisa Barry opened a small cafe in Atlanta called Bella Cucina to share her passion for cooking and eating deliciously. She started by selling sandwiches door to door to businesses in the Highlands, right from her basket. Everyone loved her Italian delicacies and wanted more. Soon after, she moved on to creating a  specialty food business empire by the same name. Endorsed by Oprah Winfrey,  myself, and many others, the products created and sold by Bella Cucina Artful Food are now sold nation-wide. Alisa supervises the making of all products by hand in small batches using the highest quality farm-grown produce at her facility in East Point, Atlanta, which I had the opportunity to visit last week.

But today is about Alisa returning back to her roots. She has re-opened  Bella Cucina  (or rather moved and expanded) with some delicious additions. Along with the finest pestos, sauces, preserves, biscotti, pastas, salts, etc. you can also enjoy some of her fresh food at the open and inviting cafe. If the grand opening is any indication of how good it’s going to be, I will be there every weekend!

Here are some highlights of what I smelled, saw and savored….

I had a late lunch of the roasted cipollrni pizzetta which was a perfectly baked crusty bread with carmelized onions (which they sell by the jar). I paired it with my new favorite drink, Vignette non-alcoholic sparkling rose wine.

The grape and gorgonzola pizzetta converted my husband from “I don’t like fruit in my food” to “I want to go home and try this!” Who knew that the contrast of the sweetness of the red grapes against the pungency of the gorgonzola would actually work wonders?

The mini meatloaves looked tempting!


A hearty slice of torta rustica aka vegetable frittata in a golden crust is just what you need on a Saturday morning!

This is an Italian twist on your traditional egg salad sandwich. It was served on a soft roll with spinach and olives. Yumm!

Alisa got me a death by chocolate cookie and said I must try it. Indeed, I would love to die eating one of these! The goodness of rich dark chocolate combined with walnuts made it look like a cookies but taste like a brownie…deceptive. The cookies are also prepacked and sold in grocery stores nationwide.

Finally, I couldn’t resist the temptation and had to take home some pastries (they were buy-one-get-one-free) to continue La Dolce Vita the next day….