Shellabella's on Main began construction in 2003 and was open for business by 2004. The restaurant began as a small establishment that could accommodate only 20 guests for lunchtime. Owner, Michelle Johnson's passion for creativity and appreciation for fine and unique food led her to her calling as owner of Shellabella's.
Within the past year, Shellabella's has undergone a transformation with its upscale Tuscan decor, expanded dining area, addition of a full bar (the only bar in Columbiana), and a full dinner menu. Despite its renovation, Shellabella's has lived up to its tagline offering "deliciously different" food consistently through its five years of operation. The recipes on the menu are original creations by Michelle Johnson, who continues to experiment with different food combinations. Under the direction of Michelle, Shellabella's will continue to be a place "where the food is deliciously different", employees become like a family, and guests always feel satisfied.
Shellabella's is a quaint restaurant in the center of Columbiana with two dining rooms and a full bar. It's a casual restaurant with an eclectic feel and the menu has a wonderful variety of unique dishes. Owner Michelle Johnson has found a way of taking usual menu fare and turning it up a notch with a Shellabella twist. They have weekly lunch specials and daily dinner specials with everything from salads, paninis, wraps and burgers to steaks, seafood, pasta and chicken.
If you're in Columbiana and you mention that you're going to Shellabella's, you will immediately be told to try their Tomato Bacon Biscuits. I tried them and I will tell you, "try the Tomato Bacon Biscuits." Light buttery biscuits are topped with a savory bacon and tomato mixture. They're served warm and they just melt in your mouth. The bacon and tomato bits are in a perfectly seasoned creamy sauce that will have you wondering what it is that makes them so good. It's the perfect side or start to any meal.
Everything on the menu seems to have a little surprise tucked into it from appetizers to entrees. Shellabella's menu offers some very interesting appetizers that set the tone for the rest of the menu. Deep Fried Asiago Olives, Fried Pickles, Macaroni and Cheese Bites and a Yummy Roll. How can I resist a Yummy Roll. I tried it and it lives up to its name. It's much bigger than I expected and beautiful to look at. An egg roll wrapper stuffed with a cream cheese, chicken mixture then deep fried to a golden crunch and drizzled with a garlic ranch dressing. The crispy outside gives way to a hot, creamy shredded chicken center that when mixed with the cool ranch, well, it's yummy.
If all the salads are anything like the Bella Salad you'll be impressed. The Bella Salad is one of the most appealing and delicious salads I've had and the Dill Vinaigrette is divine. This salad is a meal in itself. A large platter of beautiful mixed greens and red onion is surrounded by a huge helping of feta cheese and crisp bacon and topped with walnuts. The zesty vinaigrette is a sweet and sour type dressing with a hint of dill, it's so full of flavor, and so popular that they actually sell it by the bottle. One taste will tell you why like.
As I ate my way to the entrees, I was able to try several dishes, and they all looked and smelled amazing. At Shellabella's you can tell they take pride in what they serve. They are spot on with presentation. Broiled White Fish is a popular choice at restaurants and it's no different here. Fresh Atlantic cod is broiled then served in a refreshing lemon white wine sauce. Order a side of buttery homemade mashed redskin potatoes and those awesome Tomato Bacon biscuits and you've got a great meal.
For you pasta lovers, try the Chicken Spindellinni. It's fun to say and will make you smile the minute it's placed in front of you. Beautiful tricolor tortellini is topped with sautéed chicken, fresh spinach and roasted red peppers then tossed in a delightful garlic cream sauce. Pasta entrees come with your choice of a salad or soup of the day but for a dollar more you can have Shellabella's Famous French Onion Soup.
Out of everything I tried, my favorite entree has to be the Pecan Crusted Chicken and Sweet Potato Fries. A chicken breast is hand pounded then coated with a pecan, panko mixture and fried to a golden brown. It gets better. It's glazed with an amazing bourbon sauce that's the perfect sweet compliment to this crispy chicken. As for sweet potato fries, I have never been a fan. Shellabella's has changed my mind. Instead of adding sugar to the fries, they add salt and I couldn't stop eating them. The combination of the bold bourbon sauce and the natural sweetness from the fries made this dish the one I'll remember the most.
If you're looking for a nice quiet dinner but craving something unique, try Shellabela's "where the food is deliciously different".