My wife and I had been looking forward to our visit to Bottega as we are big fans of Chef Chiarello and were vacationing in Napa Valley.
We had reservations for 7:00 pm on a Saturday evening but had to wait 20-25 minutes outside on the terrace to be seated. The hostess acted as if this is common and acceptable. When shown to our table, we noted the tables are very close together for 2, you can hear everything the couples on either side of you are talking about. Very noisy.
We started off sharing an English pea, crab, and pancetta salad which was very fresh and very good. We then had pan roasted gnocchi for the pasta course which was very tasty and good, but a bit salty for my wife's taste. For entrees, my wife's half-duck confit was tender and excellent, but my wood-oven roasted whole fish was average at best. For dessert, the zeppole was freshly made and very good, you could tell they were made to order.
Although the food was good, service is not quite up to standard. Along with the indifferent hostess, our waiter was a very aggressive in his recommendations, telling us on multiple occasions what to order. It is one thing to ask a waiter for a recommendation on what to get, and another to have the waiter tell you what you requested isn't good. If the waiter is that knowledgeable about the menu, then one would expect every dish to be exemplary, which was not the case.
The rating above reflects that although the food is good, it is not excellent, and with the service being poor and the atmosphere being loud where you couldn't talk to the person sitting across from you, the value goes down. We did see Chef Chiarello walk through the dining room on multiple occasions, so he is there alot. We hope he keeps an eye on all aspects of his restaurant.
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