La Bella Pizza Bistro
194 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
-Awesome. I called earlier in the day, before I planned to go there for dinner, and the person who answered the phone was knowledgeable and friendly. Gluten free pizza takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare, so it’s best to call ahead if you don’t want to wait. I arrived in about 20 minutes and it was already ready. Great service.
La Bella is casual, but cozy. It’s a nice spot to catch up with friends or family — the interior is warm and there’s plenty of seating. It’s not fancy — but it’s not meant to be.
-La Bella is just branching out into the gluten free world. (Although I believe they are now doing gluten free pasta as well….) The pizza here is really, really different from any other gluten free pizza I’ve tried. Gluten free pizza is typically very flat and tastes a little bit like Pizza Hut (not in a bad way!) A 12″ pizza here (the only option, as is typical for places that sells gluten free pizza) is $12, plus $2 for each additional topping other than cheese. I paid a little extra for green peppers and was pleasantly surprised to see my pizza 1) full of peppers and 2) be enough for two servings of food. (I can normally wolf down a whole personal pie in one sitting. Not sure I’m proud of that…but just to give you a size comparison to other places, La Bella provides a very generously sized pizza.)
In the lower right-hand side of the photo, you can see how “spongy” the pizza is — a lot like normal dough!
Here’s where it gets a little subjective. I’ve heard several people say La Bella’s has the best gluten free pizza in the Hudson Valley. It’s spongy and thicker than regular pizza, and it mimics normal dough pretty well. If you’ve ever had Sicilian-style pizza — it’s similar to that, although not quite as thick. The sauce and cheese was delicious, and the crust was perfect, but I could not get used to the dough. It was too strange to me. (I remember not being used to gluten free pizza at first, and I didn’t like it in the beginning, so this could probably just be a “you get used to it” sort of thing.)
So…I recommend the pizza. It certainly doesn’t taste like regular, flat gluten free pizza. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It just wasn’t my personal preference at the time. The service and atmosphere is stellar and I would probably go again if I had a pizza craving.