A Different Perspective: A Visit to Bottega Americano
Bottega Americano; Chic. Lively. Interactive. Welcoming.
When you walk into the entrance of Bottega Americano, your eyes feel the pulsing urge to dart in all directions. The old warehouse building turned modern, textural, restaurant/cafe/bakery/pizzeria has a way of delighting the senses in every way.
Eyes open wide on the colorful, filled, bakery cases once you enter on the stunning, black and white logo tile. You almost forget your purpose until the hostess greets you to determine your intentions. You could be stopping in for a sweet tooth pickup, an espresso in the cafe or dining in! The options are plentiful.
The decor and design of Bottega Americano is abundant with details that are felt, heard, and seen to invoke great satisfaction that grows your anticipation for the smells and tastes to be experienced. Aesthetically, you are not left with voids of space or monotony. The lighting fixtures, surfaces and giant, blown up, black and white social scenes keep one’s attention.
Change Your Perspective; A Design Concept
Schoos Group, the L.A. based design team behind Bottega Americano, along with the experienced culinary team of Executive Chef David Warner and Giuseppe Ciuffa created a concept for all occasions. For example… The table layouts are such that depending on the experience you are looking for, you can be seated in a variety of locations and seating types within the restaurant. Date night? Sit up high against one of the warm, wood towers. It absorbs some of the noise in the restaurant and allows a great vantage point to view the goings on. Be social by sitting at the large, bar height, communal seating areas or low on the standard tables to be a part of the restaurant motion. Inquisitive foodie? Sit in front of the pizza oven and interact with your expert pie tosser. There is so much eye candy, one article cannot possibly do it justice!
MANGIA! So, Eat already.
I was invited to try several of Bottega Americano’s signature dishes. I truly enjoyed most of the items. There was only one that I would have passed on to try something else on the menu. I will be coming back to get through this menu because the offerings are so interesting overall. (In fact, we did return for Sunday brunch too.)
Il Buttero ($12): Serrano infused tequila, Aperol, mezcal, lemon, hibiscus honey
La Dolce Vita ($12): Pear infused vodka, Carpano Bianco, cucumber, mint, grapefruit bitters, lime
We began the night with selected cocktails. The Il Buttero was well-balanced, not overpoweringly spicy and the mezcal added a bit of smoky sweetness to the drink. As a mezcal lover, I enjoyed this drink but if you are not a fan of spicy drinks or the smoky mezcal profile, perhaps the La Dolce Vita is more your style. This drink was slightly sweet with the perfect amount of citrus flavor. A great starter for the meal.
The Charcuterie Platter: Your choice of three ($16) or five ($25). You can’t go wrong!
Each option of the salumeria meats and cheeses set in front of us had unique characteristics that were wonderful combined but could also stand alone.
MEATS: Salame al tartufo | Soppressata | Duck prosciutto
CHEESE: Gorgonzola dolce | Casatica di bufala
Steam Mussels ($17): I know you must feel the same as I when you have an order of steamed mussels on the way to your table. Of course, you are excited about the tactile experience you are about to encounter with scooping a mollusk from it’s shell but don’t deny it. You are giddy about the crusty bread dipped into the depths of the vessel that will sop up the savory, flavor-filled, wine and butter sauce.
The steamed mussels at Bottega Americano have a slightly different take on the traditional. Chorizo is added to the mussels with a white wine, garlic herb butter sauce and sweet Calabrian Chiles. Oh yes… they have not skimped on the crusty, grilled bread. It is the perfect, slightly crunchy on the outside and fluffy soft on the inside. I wasn’t a big fan of the chorizo addition but I could’ve had the sauce under the steamed mussels as a soup because it was so memorable and tasty.
Couldn’t Get Enough. So… BRUNCH!
During our dinner we asked plenty of questions about the food, the chefs, the architects and more because we just loved the place. We did hear from the manager that the brunch had been rejuvenated with some new items and being that it was a Saturday night, Sunday morning plans seemed like a no-brainer. We were NOT disappointed.
The MASSIVE Baked French Toast ($13 likened it to a bread pudding on steroids), a pistachio donut, a PB&J donut, Tuscan Shrimp and Grits ($16) and bottomless mimosas ($15) served us well.
**Warning** The donuts were HUGE! Take a bite and bring home or you’ll not have room for the scrumptious entrees to come.
The Tuscan Shrimp and Grits was served with two perfectly poached eggs, a side of greens, crispy potatoes and house-made hollandaise. I am super particular about my hollandaise and theirs hit the mark.
Make it a date with friends, family, significant others or just by yourself. You will enjoy it no matter what the occasion.
1195 Island Ave. | San Diego, CA 92101 | @ Park & Island |