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The ever-blossoming Changle Lu sometimes seems long enough to house every quaint fashion boutique and restaurant Shanghai has to offer. Bellissimo, a recent addition to the crowd, is a cute Italian café / restaurant with good service but an unrefined menu.

Set back from the busy street, the small patio is a good spot for people-watching. The floor upstairs offers a more intimate experience, but the polish comes off the Italian veneer as soon as the bread basket arrives. Is that the olive oil in an Eiffel Tower bottle? From this point on there’s an authenticity-implosion. The crab cakes (RMB68) are oddly flossy, and the veal gnocchi (RMB128) resembles a heavy dumpling goulash.

This could perhaps be overlooked if the rest of food was above par. Alas, even the simple grilled sea bass (RMB98) with a weak mango dressing lacked quality and preparation. The margherita pizza (RMB58), too, suffered, as many do in Shanghai, with a thick, overcooked base. When we gave our feedback to the friendly manager, he told us that, in his experience, this is what people like. Perhaps that’s true. But if you’ve eaten in Italy, you won’t be crazy about any of it.

  • Bellissimo
  • 021 6217-0933

  • No. 7, Lane 434 Changle Lu [map]
  • 上海市长乐路434弄7号

  • Italian
  • ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
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