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Harry Stephens [Bella Luna/View]

By Bill Hatfield · June 15th, 2011 · Look Who's Eating
For about a quarter century, Harry Stephens has been a fixture on the Tristate dining scene. Since 2003, Stephens has owned the wonderfully eclectic Bella Luna (4632 Eastern Ave., Columbia-Tusculum, 513-871-5862), and just over a year ago he opened View in the Edgecliff Building in East Walnut Hills.

Bella Luna always has creative seasonal menus and Harry recently told me that his new summer menu will roll out around the third week of June. The summer menu is the only menu of the year that Stephens exclusively writes, and he promises to offer some surprises. The goal is to show people that Italian food can be great prepared on the grill or in a light fashion and that it isn’t just comfort food, but perfect food for any season.

Also this summer, in addition to the usual weekend entertainment, Bella Luna is offering live entertainment on their patio on Wednesday nights.

Probably not coincidentally, Wednesday is also the night that all wines by the bottle are half price.

CityBeat: What was the last great meal that you ate and where did you eat it?
Harry Stephens: Well to be honest, it was last week in Chicago. I ate at Chicago Cut and it was the best steak I ever had in my life. But locally, it was at the restaurant that I opened 24 years ago, The Palace (at The Cincinnatian Hotel). That meal from beginning to end was outstanding, both from a service and culinary perspective.

CB: Congratulations on winning five Best of Taste awards at this year’s Taste of Cincinnati, but what was with the T-shirts that your staff wore that said “Bella Luna Farewell Tour”?
HS: This was our final year participating at Taste of Cincinnati. I just had a new grandchild and my daughter is also expecting, so we want to take more time and spend it with our family. However, this was the greatest Taste we ever had; everyone was in a great mood and it couldn’t have gone better.



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