Pioneering Italians were not only the first to put tomatoes in cuisine, they were also the first people to take photographs of themselves pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Delight in their inventiveness with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian cuisine and drinks at Bella Restaurant in Glendale.
Bella’s chef Gio Calapi, a second-generation restaurant owner, mixes Old World wisdom with contemporary creativity to furnish a menu of authentic Italian eats. Diners can peruse first-course favorites such as the wild-mushroom-and-parmesan risotto ($8) before carrying on with a classic caprese salad ($9).
Main course options range from house-made grilled pizzas to made-from-scratch pastas such as gnocchi alla gorgonzola with gorgonzola cream sauce, walnuts, and tomatoes ($17) to specialty veal chops such as the veal Courvoisier, boasting cognac-cream sauce, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts ($24). Savvy sippers can pick from a seasonally rotating menu of creative cocktails or a list of wines by the glass ($8+). Those finding themselves on badly matched blind dates may pass time by gazing at Bella’s mural-covered walls in search of hidden binary codes or the reclusive Waldo.