If it’s been awhile since you’ve dined at Bellini’s Ristorante and Grill, it’s time you come back.
In case you haven’t heard, the original proprietor of Bellini’s, Tommy Byrd, has stepped back in as the captain of one of Oklahoma City’s favorite restaurants at The Waterford, bringing back the original menu, original concepts and the original “neighborhood restaurant.”
But, if you haven’t been for a while, you’re going to see a lot that isn’t original. Namely, Bellini’s has a brand new look.
“Tommy wants uso be like the neighborhood restaurant,” said Shawnna Underwood, general manager. “This is his original concept from 1990. He sold it in the early 200s, and we took it back over in April. We shut it down, and for two and a half months, we did a complete flip.”
While many remember Bellini’s as a dark, intimate space, the remodel opened up the light.
“We gutted the entire kitchen and got all new equipment, new floors, new ceilings, everything. We flipped the entire dining room. We took out the ceilings. The bar used to be completely enclosed, so now it’s light and bright in here,” said Underwood.
The new (original) Bellini’s opened July 1, 2019, and visitors are charmed. Every person who dines at Bellini’s gets not only stellar food, but are all treated like old friends as well.
“I think what makes our restaurant special is not just the fact that Tommy makes friends with people that come in, but it’s that we make it our mission to get to know as many guests who walk in the door as possible,” said Underwood.
“When I started in this industry 20 years ago, there were not very many restaurants and to go out was a privilege. It was something that a family saved up for. Now it's the opposite. You go out, there are so many great options, so many great restaurants out there, but service is garbage. There's no personal touch. There's no genuine care. There is no genuine appreciation. We want to change that.”
Beginning his career with Interurban, Tommy developed a love for the business early in his career. Growing his expertise, he decided to create his own concepts and opened Bellini’s at the Waterford in 1990. The recipes were designed around an original recipe book he discovered at a garage sale, and today, those same recipes have returned.
Steaks, seafood, more pasta choices that you can imagine, salads, pizzas and brunch bring back the nostalgia of the original Bellini’s. Happy hour is a popular time to rediscover Bellini’s with $2 champagnes, $5 glasses of wine, $2 domestic beers, cocktail specials and appetizer specials.
Wine dinners and special events are also a new staple of Bellini’s.
“W genuinely are a family run restaurant that cares about the people who walk in the door and we have the best food,” said Underwood. “Everything's made fresh and everything is as local as it can possibly be.”
Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to rediscover one of Oklahoma City’s signature restaurants. A special romantic dinner for two is on the menu in a new, friendly, open space.
For more information on Bellini’s, visit bellinisristorantegrill.com.