Restaurant Review: Zola’s in Bells Corners

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Kim specializes in recipe development, culinary instruction, food consultation, food demonstrations, catering and food styling for photography. You might have come across Kim at Ross’s Independent Grocers, where her unique and healthy culinary treats are often shared with shoppers.

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It all started back in 1959 when the Vacchio family immigrated to Canada from Avellino, Naples. The matriarch, Consiglia Vacchio, brought all her mother’s treasured recipes with her including her infamous “Sugo al Pomodoro” her classic Italian tomato sauce. Little did she know then just how valuable these recipes would become to the future of her family and generations to come.

Every Italian family secretly considers their own “sugo” tomato sauce as the best. Even within a family and amongst siblings there is a silent and often not so silent competition as to who’s sauce is the best, or who’s sauce comes closest to Mamma’s or even Nonna’s.

Zola's Restaurant Ottawa

Gina is the daughter of Consiglia Vacchio, and also General Manager at Zola’s Restaurant in Bells Corners. Gina and her brother and head chef Tony are no different. For over 29 years Gina and Tony have been perfecting the art of recreating their mother’s recipes including her “sugo”. I think they’ve got this mastered.

I recently had the pleasure to dine at Zola’s. What impressed me more than the very warm welcome I received from the Vacchio’s themselves, is that everything is made in-house the old fashioned way. There are no shortcuts when cooking from scratch, it takes time to make things perfect. Everything is made with love and with a passion for great authentic Italian.

Zola’s recently added their new “Zola’s Feast” selections, which gives you the opportunity to try a variety of appetizers, salads, pastas and pizzas you might not normally get to try. These dishes are served in a traditional family style way on platters and shared among the people at the table.

Having grown up with perhaps some of the best authentic Italian food, it’s not often I go out and eat Italian. However, I absolutely loved the spaghetti and meatballs from Zola’s, it’s as close as you can get to what I grew up with. In fact I loved them so much, that I did a take-out order of their classic Organic Tomato Sauce and homemade pasta for my family to enjoy.

When I got home, I took out my favourite Vera Wang dish and in as little as 3 minutes (remember to cook the pasta al dente) we had an incredible dinner of fresh pasta and plump juicy meatballs that my family devoured with fervour. The sauce had just the right amount of spices and herbs and rich flavour, and the sauce consistency was perfect, not too thick and not runny. The meatballs are a lovely combination of beef, veal and chicken and are gluten free as cornmeal is used instead of breadcrumbs. Zola’s also offers a gluten free pasta and is available upon request.

The selection both in restaurant and through their gourmet takeout is so good that you may have difficulty deciding what to order. And yes, delivery is possible too.

Since I’m a bit of a traditionalist, I highly recommend that you try their classic spaghetti and meatballs.

Buon Appetito!

Zola’s Restaurant 
2194 Robertson Road
(Village Mews, Bells Corners)
Nepean, ON.