Across the road from our accommodation in Yountville, we discovered Michael Chiarello’s restaurant Bottega. We’d seen Chef Chiarello compete in the first season of Top Chef Masters, so were naturally drawn to his restaurant on a night where we had no prior plans.
The large, rustic looking restaurant was pumping when we arrived and we’d already been clued up by a girl at one of the nearby wineries, who recommended her favourite dish to start of ‘polenta under glass’, so our appetites where whet for a good evening ahead!
As we’d brunched at Ad Hoc earlier that day (which you can read about here), we decided the sensible thing to do was to only order two courses, and enjoy an alcohol free evening. To my delight, the sparkling mineral water was free flowing so I enjoyed countless refills of my fancy copper cup by the highly attentive staff 🙂
We started the evening with the recommended dish of polenta ($12), and the crudo of kingfish ($12) which was served on a giant salt block – which not only looked impressive, but seasoned the delicate slices of fish the longer they remained on the block (you could purchase these blocks from the adjoining retail store NapaStyle). Both dishes were packed full of flavour and highly enjoyable. I can see why the polenta is a favourite, especially on a cold winters evening!
For our pasta course, Donny opted for the Pappardelle Bolognese ($18), while I went for the Raviolo with burnt butter and sage, egg yolk and black winter truffle ($22). Both dishes were well balanced and delicious, but I would have to say that my giant raviolo with perfectly cooked oozy egg was the stand out of the night 🙂
Feeling seriously full, we settled our very reasonable bill and waddled back across the road to our room for the night. We were incredibly impressed with Bottega and would highly recommend it if you’re after some authentic Italian food 🙂