Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bottega in Yountville

The Bay Area has a plethora of outstanding restaurants that are waiting for everyone to experience. There are so many to choose from and every inspiration is represented here: Fine dining in San Francisco to casual dining in Wine Country and everything in between. With a couple friends, we recently started “The Restaurant Club” and our goal is to choose a new dining destination each month and have lunch on a Saturday. The person who chooses the restaurant picks up the bill and then we rotate to the next person.

Yesterday, it was my turn and I selected Michael Chiarello’s new venture in Yountville, named “Bottega”. ( A quick tip – use Open Table to make your reservations. It is quick, simple and free. They send a confirmation along with a reminder through your email. Sign up today, if you are not already a member. (

Bottega is located in beautiful downtown Yountville in Napa Valley. It is rustic yet elegantly refined with warm colors, rich woods and stone. It feels like you are in an upscale Napa home and very inviting. We sat next to the striking wine room with cabinets of wine all around and an innovative chandelier with antique looking spoons dangling, and a large wood dining table.

The service was spot on and our waiter was knowledgeable, attentive and friendly. There was fresh baked bread with a sauce of olive oil, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and a touch of garlic to spread on top – outstanding. Enjoyed a glass of Frank Family 2007 Chardonnay. ( For the first course, I had the signature dish, “Polenta under glass”. It was a rich, creamy polenta with a slight crust of parmesan cheese and topped with caramelized wild mushrooms. Next to the glass was a small container with balsamic game sauce. The concept is to pour the polenta and mushrooms onto the plate and top with the balsamic sauce. The flavor combinations were out of this world.

Next course was the Smoked and Braised Natural Short Ribs with preserved-lemon spinach and smoky jus. The meat was incredibly tender – no knife required. We shared the dessert of white chocolate Panna Cotta with rhubarb fritti and Madeira rhubarb pappardelle. The Panna Cotta was so smooth and rich with a hint of cardamom. Simply delicious! Accompanied the wonderful dessert with a perfect cappuccino and just had a most glorious meal.

Had to pick up a few baked goodies from Bouchon Bakery ( The line was out the door but so worth the wait. Picked up a pain de campagne for dinner, a vanilla and espresso macaron, a package of their signature chocolate bouchons and some homemade doggie biscuits for Max.

Restaurant Club - Lynette, Brenley and myself!

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