Restaurant Review: Bottega

My favorite meal in Napa was our dinner at Chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega. This craftsman’s kitchen celebrates Chiarello’s culinary roots and features bold Italian flavors with a refined twist. The menu highlights artisanal and house made ingredients as well as local produce.  The ambiance is lively but you are still able to enjoy a conversation amongst your table, and the service was masterful.  The wait staff was efficient and well versed in the flavors of the menu as well as the extensive wine list.

Our meal started with piping hot, delicious Italian bread that was placed in the middle of the table, which we quickly devoured while dipping in herbed olive oil and made a mess while doing so.  We ordered wine and sipped water from these incredible copper goblets.  We shared the calamari crisped with Arborio rice flour and a black aioli sauce. It was so light and perfectly cooked and the aioli added a nice finishing flavor.

calamari appetizer

We decided to be adventurous and try something new, so we had the house made rigatoni with rabbit sugo, caramelized mushrooms and house made ricotta as our first course.  All I have to say is, wow.  That dish was amazing and unlike anything I have ever tasted.  The freshness of the home made pasta and ricotta cheese was light and delicious, and the flavor of the rabbit was complex, yet smooth, not gamey at all.

pasta course

Matt had lamb chops with honey roasted pears and tarragon dressing with cream polenta.  I had scallops with a caper, grape and rosemary brown butter sauce with parsnip puree.

lamb chops


For dessert, if you can imagine that we had any room left for it, we tried a biscotti-type almond cookie served with salted caramel gelato and drizzled with freshly brewed espresso.  Totally delicious and I felt like I was in Italy while eating this.

masterful Italian dessert

I basically needed to be rolled away from the table I was so full.  Everything was amazing and would love to go back again and again to enjoy the chef’s masterful Italian creations.  I don’t think I could ever get tired of eating at Bottega!

Along with Bottega, Chiarello is also the tastemaker of NapaStyle, which is any food lover’s dream store.  I highly recommend checking out the website for original style pieces for your kitchen and other rooms in your home, as well as fun and inspiring ingredients.
Some of the particularly mouth watering options were the sauces, spreads and dips like the Tuscan Artichoke or Olive & White Bean spreads, the Silafunghi Hot Chili Sauce and the array of interesting salts and rubs.

Also, check out the awesome copper tumblers that are used in Bottega that can also be yours:

aren't they awesome??

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