Boatyard Hospitality Manager Opens New Restaurant
Danielle Taylor has always wanted to open her own restaurant, and now downtown Gig Harbor is saying hello to Bella Femmina.
The hospitality manager at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard opened her Sicilian-inspired restaurant in the former Spiro’s location at 3108 Harborview Drive on Oct. 3. Bella Femmina, or “pretty girl” in Italian, is open only for take-out for now, but Danielle and team will be ready for dine-in service in the next week or so.
The crew has been busy updating the decor of the long-standing Spiro’s restaurant to a casual-chic vibe with new flooring, paint and lighting, as well as upgrades to the kitchen, bar and seating areas. A once under-utilized side room is now set up for private parties for sports team banquets, wedding rehearsal dinners, business lunches and other group events.
Bella Femmina is open Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
3108 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor – (253) 358-3438
It’s all a labor of love for Danielle, a 35-year veteran in the restaurant and hospitality business who has always wanted to have her own restaurant.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to own a restaurant,” she said. Now, with a little backing by the boatyard, her dream has come true.
I stopped in at Bella Femmina last week for a tour — and for some of the best spaghetti I’ve ever tasted. But more on the food in a minute. Danielle and I paused in front of Bella’s stunning logo graphic featured on the mirror in the main dining room: a beautiful rendition of a classic Chris Craft runabout in black with the restaurant name in gold on the boat’s transom.
“It was inspired by my dad’s old Chris Craft boat,” she explained. It’s one of many family inspirations featured at the restaurant, starting with the name itself. Bella Femmina is named for Danielle’s 13-year-old daughter, Bella. The inviting bar with its cool lighting is called Monkey’s Bar, a nod to son Nicholas’ nickname, “Monkey.” And then there’s the fantastic menu of tantalizing Italian dishes.
“When I was growing up my mom married a Sicilian man,” said Danielle. “So a lot of our dishes are inspired by my Sunday suppers with my Sicilian step-grandmother.”
Well, grazie, Nonna, for that influence, because Bella Femmina’s food is amazing. Danielle, who has been hospitality manager here at the boatyard for the past six years, has assembled a talented and experienced team of food crafters in the kitchen.
Head chef Dallas Woodruff, Gig Harbor, comes to Bella’s with 21 years in the restaurant business, including the Anthony’s corporation and Dirty Oscar’s Annex on 6th Avenue in Tacoma. He is assisted by sous chef Luciano Tong, Bremerton, who was at the helm for the fantastic food served at the Trolley @ the Boatyard this summer.
The duo make a great team creating the delicious and hearty home-style meals on Bella Femmina’s menu. I was lucky enough to experience several of them myself when Chef Dallas brought out dish after dish for a photo op on my recent visit. Believe me when I say that everything is molto bene.
Of all the very good dishes, one that really stood out for me was Bella’s Special Spaghetti with five-meat sauce, creamy bleu cheese, homemade meatballs and shaved parmesan. I also sampled the wonderful lasagna with Bella’s signature five-meat sauce, ricotta, parmesan and Italian cheeses slow-oven baked to perfection. And why not start with an appetizer of baked chicken wings?
“You’ve never had wings like Bella’s version,” promised Danielle of the tender, oven-baked marinated chicken wings tossed in a garlic and fresh herb olive oil.
Check out the full menu of appetizers, soup, salad, oven-baked sandwiches, pizza, pasta and dessert on Bella Femmina’s Facebook page. Danielle and team also offer a kids’ menu and family-style dinners that serve four people.
Stop by and try the newest restaurant on the waterfront. Bella Femmina is deliziosa!
Welcome to the harbor, pretty girl.
3108 Harborview Drive
Downtown Gig Harbor
Open for Take-Out:
Wed. – Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Come in to Order or Call: