The tradition of good food in the tiny village of Loyalhanna’s stone house continues with the opening of the Bella Pasta Italian Ristorante. Owned by Michelle and Gene Cavaliere, the small (3,500 square feet), intimate eatery for many years was known as the Stone House, but actually got its start not in food preparation, but in body preparation, as in exercising. Early in the 20th century, the stone house was the home of the Loyalhanna Recreation Association.
Now, the Cavalieres — he the former owner of a number of pizza shops in the Connellsville area, she with a background in food service — are looking to take their love for food to the masses via Bella Pasta. Following an 18-month search for the right setting, the husband and wife settled on the Loyalhanna (Derry Township) location. “It has parking, a separate room for the bar and a huge fireplace,” Michelle said. The restaurant seats 110, plus the dozen bar patrons, and employs some 34 full- and part-time personnel. Looking to satisfy his clientele, executive chef Michael Jaffre is willing to prepare dishes other than what is listed on the restaurant menu. If the ingredients are not available, they will be on your next visit.