Our first meal in Napa, turned out to be our best. And that meal was dinner at Bottega Napa Valley.
The meal began with bread accompanied by a garlic parmesan spread that is absolutely delicious. So delicious in fact, they bottle the stuff and sell it in a market that is located across from the restaurant.
There were five in our party and we shared antipasti. The Polpette alla Griglia Grilled (short rib meatballs) was surprisingly flavorful and would be wonderful as a part of an entree. The two people in our party who shared the Il Piatto di Salumi e Formaggi, which consisted of “House cured” prosciutto, Tuscan & Calabrian salumi, Teleme, Montasio, Chianti Pecorino, Sicilian almonds, vine dried raisins -- raved about it. And another person, who is somewhat of a Brussels sprout connoisseur, proclaimed the Insalata di Cavolini di Bruxelles absolutely delicious.
Two of us selected the gnocchi as our entree. We agreed that the dish was light, yet filling. When I return to Bottega (I am already planning on going back), this is what I will have again -- it was memorable. Our meal was paired with a bottle of cabernet from chef Michael Chiarello's vineyards. The wine was not inexpensive (we paid $125 for the bottle), but it was worth every penny. And it complimented the food perfectly.
Service was attentive, professional and pleasant -- but not overwhelming. And while we would have preferred sitting in the main room, the back room wasn't as bad as I had first feared it would be. The atmosphere wasn't as vibrant as that of the main dining area, but it was comfortable and since the food was the star of the show -- it didn't really matter.
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