Bottega, Napa Valley

Bottega opened in 2008 in the back of the big parking lot in Yountville across from Bouchon. That's not its only fame. In fact, in my opinion, Bottega easily outshines the famous Bouchon. Bottega is a brainchild of a top chef master and Food Network personality Michael Chiarello, who just, btw, released an obligatory Bottega cookbook. Put it on the shelf next to the Ad Hoc book and the Mustards Grill book - all instant classics from favorite Napa Valley foodie havens! The cuisine feels decidedly California-Italian. Prior to Bottega and his Food Network gigs, Michael was the founding executive chef of Tra Vigne - another "Italian-influenced" Napa Valley top draw.

Bottega has become my gastronomic destination. Perhaps the only other place I've been where Italian food rises to a higher level is Bobby Stuckey's (ex French Laundry sommelier) Friuli-influenced Frasca in Boulder, Colorado. I'd be remiss not to give an honorable mention to Delfina in the city (SF) and Donato Enoteca in Redwood City. I hear amazing reviews of Tony's in Houston as well. Refined Italian food is where comfort food meats gastronomy - and in the hands of a master, how can you go wrong with that! Just take a look at these.

Mouse-over for descriptions.

New Year celebrations at Bottega kept the place busy feeding New Year crowds. Both standard menu and special New Year menu were offered and executed to perfection. The service was impeccable and friendly - don't you just love a jolly old waiter with an opinion?! (I do!) For a wine lover, the wine selection by the glass was relatively limited. I did pick the tremendous 1999 Dom Perignon (one of my fave Dom P's) for $30/glass. At $20 corkage, I would recommend you BYOB.

Every dish spoke to me. Every look and every bite were delicious and inspiring. Happy New Year 2011!


Brett said…
We ate here in September, and definitely agree that it fits right up there at or above Bouchon, Ad Hoc, Bardessono and the rest. Loved the great service (Scott was our server) and the food. The polenta under glass, truffled fries and prosciutto plate were among our favorites! We tried their house label wines, and they went very well with the foods. Can't wait to go back again!
Do Bianchi said…
Gary, thanks for the shout out to Tony! If you ever make it out to Texas, I'll take you to dinner there. Happy 2011, dude!

Popular posts from this blog

Most expensive Cognacs in the world?

Rajun Cajun - when only a beer will do

Shaoxing rice wine - learning the taste