My wife and I dined at Bottega a couple weeks back with some friends on vacation. We sat outside on the patio on a lovely Summer evening.
For appetizers, my wife had the Caramelized Brussels Sprouts Salad; I had the Calamari; our friends had a seafood and sausage pasta. All were absolutely delicious! They also each had enough on the plate that two appetizers would have been plenty to share for the four of us.
For dinner two of us had the lamb chops - they were plated very well and were delicious. I've never seen someone gnaw on a lamb bone like they did at dinner. They didn't want to waste any of the lamb meat - very tender, and well flavored. One of our friends had the braised short ribs. They came highly recommended by the server, and he was right, they were delicious.
I had the duck confit. This was the most disappointing duck I have ever eaten. The skin was crisp - a good start - but the meat was extremely dry. Each of us at the table had a taste, and all agreed it was not well cooked. It was like chewing on sand paper. I had to take a drink after almost every bite (perhaps it was there way of selling more wine?). The plating of the duck was also fairly drab. There was very little color on the plate (the greens were hidden beneath the duck) and it was on a buckskin-colored plate. Just a one-tone colored wash. A disappointment amidst an otherwise very good meal.
We had the Renteria 2010 Pinor Noir to accompany the meal. It was delicious! There's a small art / wine shop up the street where you can taste the Renteria wines - call ahead and schedule a tasting.
We decided not to stay for dessert. The dessert menu wasn't overly impressive by name or description.
Another slight disappointment came from the lack of acknowledgement around our reason for dining that night. We had called ahead weeks in advance and make the reservations. We were celebrating our friends 10th anniversary and one of their 40th birthdays. (They got married on his birthday.) At the table, the hostess had put two cards that said Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary, but the server never acknowledged either celebration. Not sure what we were expecting, but we expected more than nothing from the server. Maybe he would have put a candle on a dessert had we ordered a dessert?
Overall, it was a nice meal. Not an inexpensive restaurant, but for a Michael Chiarello restaurant, what would you expect? It is a good restaurant, worth the visit.
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