Bottega – Napa Valley, CA - The famous Bottega restaurant in Napa Valley is a place that came highly recommended. Located in Yountville, the restaurant is found on the historic Vintage Estate Property. The brainchild of Chef Michael Chiarello, Bottega is said to reflect Italian culinary prepared with his own personal twist in flavor. Having won multiple awards and mentions, and being located in one of the oldest vineyards in Napa, Bottega was a place we looked forward to visiting.
Décor and Ambience: Located on the Groezinger Estate, Bottega carried in itself an air of elegance and old world rustic charm. Swirls of olive-green, chocolate browns and deep reds created and aura of a warm, earthy tone. With couches made in butter leather, Venetian plaster on the wall, glass chandeliers made of the renowned Murano glass and fabrics from Donghia lent a chic and trendy air to Bottega. The restaurant had 2 indoor dining rooms and a private dining/wine room and bar. There were also 5 communal tables available carved out of wood, marble and concrete. The covered Terrace area has 40 outdoor lounge seats and 26 outdoor dining seats. With 2 wood-burning stone fireplaces, the area is a beautiful place to have a meal in with a nice drink to accompany it.
The Food: With all the hype of the food surrounding Bottega, we expected it to be the best restaurant in Napa. But the food, when it came, didn’t live up to the expectation built around it. Our order consisted of Garganelli with tomato braised Sonoma rabbit sugo with wild mushrooms and ricotta, smoked and braised natural short-ribs preserved Meyer-lemon spinach, wood grilled rack of grass-fed lamb with fresh local cherry & fennel seed dressing and creamy ancient grain polenta. The Garganelli, with all its flavors that accompanied it, was the best part of the meal. The presentation of the food was quite on the disappointing side and some dishes looked like blobs of ingredients messily and hastily thrown into a dish. The rest of the food was good without being exceptional. We had the Vanilla Goat’s Milk Panna Cotta with saffron kumquat marmelet and passion fruit citrus gelee . It turned out to be just ok. But the saving grace of the evening was the absolutely scrumptious Chocolate Bourbon Tortino-Banana Brulée; roasted banana gelato and milk chocolate peanut butter bar. This was completely worth going through the other mediocre food for. They also had a great wine list with a good selection of Californian wines at very reasonable rates.
The Service; The service at Bottega was absolutely terrible. Inconsistent with the behavioral mode switching from annoying hovering to complete ignoring, we had a hard time eating without having someone breathing down our necks, only to have them disappear when we needed something.
The Calculated Impression: While the ambience and décor was great with possibilities of having a great evening out or a relaxed lunch, Bottega fell short of meeting the expectation because of its average quality of food and inferior service. It was quite a disappointment and made us wonder what the hype of it being one of the best restaurants of Napa was all about.
What I liked: The décor, the ambience and the great wine-list.
What I didn’t like: The average quality of food and the substandard service.
Rating: Between Bombastic and Not.
Address and Telephone Number
Bottega Restaurant Napa V Marketplace
6525 Washington Street, A9
Yountville, CA 94599