Restaurant adds breakfast fare

INDEPENDENCE -- J. Bella's Ristaurant at 114 S. Main St. in Independence has added breakfast to its fare.

INDEPENDENCE -- J. Bella's Ristaurant at 114 S. Main St. in Independence has added breakfast to its fare.

The business, owned and managed by Jennifer Goodman of Monmouth, opened about nine months ago with a lunch and dinner menu. Breakfast, served Thursday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., was added about six weeks ago.

"It's going well," Goodman said of the menu change. "It's busier than I thought it would be in the beginning. It's starting to pick up."

J. Bella's, with its hardwood floors, linen tablecloths and wait staff traditionally dressed in black and white, is a bit more upscale than most area eateries. It serves Italian dishes but has other types of food as well.

Breakfast choices include buttermilk or buckwheat pancakes with toppings such as blueberries and pecans. And it would not be enough to just have plain, old French toast, so J. Bella's offers banana bread French toast.

There is traditional fare such as biscuits and gravy and New York steak and eggs. And there is less-traditional fare such as an omelet stuffed with grilled artichoke hearts, asparagus and lemon-filled cream cheese.

Those with hearty appetites will be tempted by the three-egg scramble plates, including a version with Italian sausage, bacon, ground beef and cheese. There there is a vegetarian scramble as well.

J. Bella's has proven to be a welcome addition to the area restaurant scene and was named the 2006 Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce new business of the year.

"It's going well," Goodman said. "It's starting to pick up because it's spring and summer. But we did well through the winter, too. I'm quite pleased with how things are going."

J. Bella's redesigns its menu for each season, and Goodman said a fresh list of selections will be out in a week or so. Interesting additions include local rainbow trout stuffed with spinach, garlic and bacon, seared scallops and - at long last - spaghetti with homemade meatballs.

"We're finally having spaghetti with homemade meatballs," said Goodman. "A lot of people, myself included, love homemade meatballs if they're done right, and we're going to do them right. We're excited about that."


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