Joplin restaurant worth trying

Bella Peppers Italian Kitchen is located at 2525 Range Line Road, next to Red Hot and Blue.

Bella Peppers Italian Kitchen is located at 2525 Range Line Road, next to Red Hot and Blue.

David Haut

Italian food lovers now have a new Joplin restaurant to try.

Bella Peppers Italian Kitchen and Coffee bar, which opened last November, is Joplin’s newest Italian style restaurant.

Owner David Blum, who is also the owner of popular Joplin restaurant The Red Onion Café, said he has been pleased with the response the restaurant has seen since its opening.

“It’s been better than we expected, especially during the holiday season,” he said.

Bella Peppers offers a relaxed and casual atmosphere similar to The Red Onion.

Also offered at the new establishment is a full coffee bar, which is open during all hours of operation.

Their menu offers a few similarities to The Red Onion, as well as some variations on dishes Blum prepared while working at previous restaurants.

The full menu offers several tasty choices, from appetizers to desserts. For me, the worst part of the meal was having to choose just one thing to eat.

We had the bruschetta as an appetizer. I have to say, it was the best I’ve ever had.

I decided to have the chicken Parmesan. It may be the most generic thing on the menu, but it was very tasty.

Our desert was a tiramisu cheesecake, and a coffee drink. Both were fantastic.

Another thing I really liked about the restaurant was the fact that it’s a non-smoking establishment. Personally, I don’t like smoke around me when I eat. A lot of restaurants like Applebee’s have a smoking section, but the bar is located right next to the non-smoking area, which really defeats the purpose.

Bella Peppers also doesn’t serve alcohol.

Blum said the response is 50-50. Some people like a smoke and alcohol free restaurant; others don’t.

“Some people don’t think a restaurant that doesn’t serve alcohol can make it,” he said.

He hopes his restaurant can start a trend for other Joplin restaurants.

My fiancée and I were able to eat an entire meal, including drinks, appetizer, meals, coffee and dessert for about $40 (tip included). Granted, college students would like to spend less on dinner. It’s a nicer atmosphere, but two could enjoy dinner for about $25 (with tip).

Perhaps my only complaint about the restaurant was the portion size. They’re all huge. Blum agreed.

In fact, he said starting on Monday, Bella Peppers will have a different menu with some smaller portions.

Overall, this is definitely a great restaurant to try out. It’s a place that offers a different selection than the usual stuff found in Joplin.

They are located at 2525 S. Range Line Road in Joplin. For reservations, call 781-7711, from 11 a.m to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.