Word of Mouth: Bottega (Napa Valley)

March 21st, 2011 by Vanilla Ice



We’re actually getting kinda sick of new restaurants; it’s a bit tedious pointing out the same types of flaws over and over and over again and ultimately being disappointed more often than impressed. (Here’s a novel idea: why don’t you try working to improve the shitty restaurant you already have, rather than opening a new one every nine months, you greedy egomaniacal bastard?) But hey, maybe that’s just us.
Anyhoo! It’s so nice to see you! We hadn’t planned on visiting your place, probably like— ever— but the "word of mouth" on this joint has been pretty outstanding. So, ya know— we’re intrigued. We’re hoping that good "word of mouth" is all genuine, and we can get us some of that good in our mouth. Word.
What’s that? You’d love to take advantage of all our vast experience, knowledge, insight, and expertise as long as we’re already here? Because you’re hoping we’ll like it and help spread the news, since you fired your publicist long ago for not doing jack shit for you?
Of course, we’d be honored. Oh ha, yesss, we’ll be honest— brutally honest even, ha ha! After all, that’s what obnoxious opinionated food-bloggers are for!
No no please, don’t send anything more, we’re stuffed, we can’t breathe, you’ll have to roll us out of here, ha ha ha… !


Bottega (Napa Valley)

What exactly made you choose our restaurant?
It came very highly recommended by a chef friend who’d recently relocated from NYC to San Francisco.

What was your first impression?
Cute. And big!
And oh look— it’s Michael Chiarello… in chef whites. At lunchtime? "Off-season," no less? Wow, don’t see that in NYC very often.

Please rate the Bar:
Uh, if I remember correctly, it’s big? Sorry, the place is so huge and there’s so much to see here (got totally distracted by the little Bottega shop across the way… with 20 kinds of salt… a dozen olive oils… a myriad of chutneys… you get the picture). Oops, my bad.

Please rate the drinks/ cocktails/ wine:
Who drinks liquor in Napa Valley? Yah sorry— no clue on that.
The wine was great though… but ahem, don’t even know what it was. When you’re rolling with a sommelier, it’s really easy to get lazy like that. Ooopsie again. (Whatever, it’s Napa— this is definitely the place to give in and let somebody else do all the work for a change.)

Please rate the Dining Room:
Went straight for the outdoors. Yea, you don’t get much garden dining like this is NYC either. What a beautiful view.

Please rate the BOH:
Stellar. And with a party of nine (over half of which are food professionals), it’s not hard to order nearly everything on the menu. So we did.

How was the staff?
Good. Come to think of it, they must have been pretty great, because I barely remember any of them.

What did you eat?/ How was the food?
Like I said, damned near everything : And save for the pasta carbonara which was wholly underwhelming, everything was quite exceptional. The biggest surprise was probably the polenta, which was spectacularly flavorful and superbly scrumptious. If I described every single dish, I’d be here all day. So let’s just say I loved it— it was undoubtedly one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had.

What did you like?
Pretty much all of it.

What did you dislike?
What’s up with that carbonara? Odd how it was so bleah, particularly compared to everything else. Great presentation, but really quite bland.

What was your last impression?
I’m so glad we had such a large group; there’s no possible way to taste as much otherwise.

Would you come back?
Would absolutely love to.

Thank you, and hope to see you soon!
Thank you, it was a pleasure.



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