Welcome to Bella Notte

Our inspiration is the Italian trattoria–a local gathering place for family and friends to enjoy honest, wholesome food. We invite you to our table to share a glass of wine and share a few memories amid the aroma of fresh baked bread, simmering sauces, and wood-fire grilled meats and seafood. The Italians say, “You don’t grow old at the table.” Spend enough time at our table and you may believe it’s true.

Featured in Sophisticated Living magazine

“A bastion of independent dining in a sea of chain restaurants, since it opened in 1996, Bella Notte has been gradually building a reputation as a purveyor of fine, seasonal Italian-style cuisine infused with fresh, local ingredients. The brainchild of Kuni Toyoda, a fixture on the Lexington restaurant scene for nearly four decades, Bella Notte is a true family business, with Kuni’s son Kevin, who has trained at notable establishments in Italy, Japan and the Napa Valley, at the helm in the kitchen as Executive Chef. Complementing the cuisine is a palpable commitment to hospitality, the result of a corporate commitment to promoting from within.”


Kuni Toyoda- Owner

Kuni Toyoda has been immersed in Lexington’s restaurant scene for almost 40 years. Since his days working for Jerrico Corporation, to growing the Fazoli’s chain, and now developing creative concepts at a local scale, Kuni emphasizes authenticity in food and guest service at all levels of operation. His company vision places quality above quantity and people above profits. These ideas are upheld as Tomato Express continues to focus on career development and training, as well as sourcing products from regional farms, and elevating our service standards.


Chef Kevin

Bella Notte’s seasonal dishes, Smashing Tomato’s authentic pizza, and the creative flavor combinations at Bella Forno owe to the diversity of experience Kevin brings to the executive chef position. His training at world-class restaurants and experience from Italy, Japan, and Napa Valley shows in the development of original recipes that combine Kentucky products with an international sensibility. His strength in training enables our kitchens to prepare most items from scratch. Including homemade sausages and condiments, freshly baked desserts and bread, and in-house butchering, roasting and grilling, our menu is crafted with attention and care. Find recipes to try at home here.