Merced County Times Newspaper
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Times Photos by Jonathan Whitaker

Intimate garden soiree marks return of Bella Luna Bistro


Bella Luna Bistro is back!

This week, the popular Main Street restaurant in Merced returns to offering only the finest cuisine — for dinner deliveries or takeout orders — after a temporary closure to regroup during the pandemic.

The new hours will be Wednesday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A smiling Valley Chef Vinnie DeAngelo made the announcement Tuesday night during a catered garden soiree held on the grounds of the historic Mansion House in downtown Merced.

It was easy to see Chef DeAngelo enjoying the sight of guests devouring his scrumptious dishes.

“I think our customers have been missing us, and I know we sure have been missing them,” he told the Times.

Guests at the Mansion House enjoyed a taste of what they’ve been missing for weeks. They dined on hors d’oeuvres, including Gazpacho with Shrimp, Greek Salad, Italian Bean Salad, Zucchini Mozzarella Pillows, Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini and Beef or Crab sliders. The food was prepared by Bistro chefs Steven Jones and Jason Neugebauer, and specialty cocktails were created by bartender Billy Pedrozo.

The reopening of Bella Luna Bistro will feature new ways to place an order and receive deliveries. A new Bella Luna Bistro smartphone app is available to make ordering a breeze, and it’s available online at Apple and Google play stores. Residents can also log onto the for fast food delivery service. Or they can just call direct at: (209) 383-1700.

Check out the menu online at The Bella Luna food truck is also in action for special occasions.

Bella Luna Bistro is located at 350 W. Main Street in downtown Merced.

Mansion House on the market

For the garden soiree, Bella Luna partnered up with the local Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate group. The firm is helping to sell the landmark house at 455 W. 20th Street, and the Times learned they may have found a buyer.

Lydia and Kevin Reynolds of Merced have made a bid and are in escrow on the place. Lydia is a private chef who has experience with family-style takeout food via online ordering. The couple plans to bring their own family to live upstairs at the mansion, and use the bottom floors for Lydia’s food service. They are thinking about using the outside gardens for special events on weekends.

“We want to be apart of a growing downtown Merced,” Lydia Reynolds told the Times.

The Mansion House is no stranger to food service. For many years, it was used as a fine-dining restaurant. It’s also zoned and permitted to be a Bed & Breakfast, as well as an Outdoor Event Facility.

The landmark Shingle Style Victorian residence dates back to 1906 when it was built by Froetch and Boney for Mr. Oscar A. Baker.

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