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“I don't get it, what you need to know”
Review of Bottagra

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Ranked #2 of 54 Restaurants in Hawthorne
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $35
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Families with children, Large groups, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Lafayette
Description: Bottagra brings a Modern Mediterranean flare to a traditional Italian restaurant in North Jersey.Chef-Owner Carlo Carbonaro and Robert Vicari have fused their extensive restaurant and culinary expertise together, offering a variety of dishes originating from the northern and southern regions of Italy. The dining rooms are classic New York City exuding a unique feel reminiscent of modern Tuscan villas. Mosaic tiles adorn the walls; rich exquisite draperies in deep bronzes, golds and chocolate colors compliment the upscale feel to this new chic spot. Bottagra's menu features wonderful fresh and flavorful specials as well as a full bar and an extensive wine list. Experience Bottagra!
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Parking: Valet - Valet parking is reasonable, but only if the venue has enough staff to handle the flow. When we showed up, we sat and waited in our car for several minutes as the volume overwhelmed the staff. It's just not acceptable to not have enough staff (which appeared to be 1 person actively working) when we arrived.

Reservations - Pointless
As other reviewers note, a reservation still results in a 30 minute wait. What's the point, exactly? Just factor this in. I think they do it intentionally to pad their bar tab. When I asked about the weight, I was told that the current tables were just taking longer than anticipated, which is obviously a lie since it's a repeat problem here.

Staff - Attentive, a rare positive, although quite slow, except for water. I have no problem with slow service, but others probably do.

Food - Missed the mark. Not terrible by any stretch, but not particularly good, either. This included reviews from all 4 of us. Ratings varied from 4 out of 10 to 6 out of 10 from our group. Adjusting for its cost, it is was very uninspiring.
Wine at $9 a glass for house white seemed a tad high.

Noise - Insanely high. I am hoarse today. Totally ridiculous they can't do something to mitigate the volume.

Easy decision to not go back here.

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1  Thank BrianL412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 - 78 of 92 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2013 via mobile

I made a reservation here to celebrate my wife's birthday, it was our first experience at Bottagra but certainly not our last.
We were pleasantly greeted by the Hostess who confirmed our reservation and escorted us to our table. We were then greeted by a waitstaff person who also greeted us and gave us 2 glasses if water. Within several minutes we met our Server named Lorena who was very personable. She took our drink order and gave us the menus to look over. My wife had a Negroni and I had a Campari with soda and a splash of OJ. 2 outstanding cocktails and a great start to a fabulous meal.
Lorena described the specials of the night thoroughly and we placed our order with her.
We started of with the "Raw Bar Sampler" which came with 3 clams on the half shell, 3 oysters on the half shell, 2 jumbo shrimp and 2 huge lump crab pieces. It came with 3 dipping sauces. All the seafood was extremely fresh and delicious. I could have ordered 3 or 4 more of these it was that good. We also had the grilled pulpo (grilled octopus). It was the most perfectly prepared octopus I ever had.
My wife and I then shared an order of Strozzaretti on Lorena's recommendation. It's a pasta cooked with Sicilian eggplant, shrimp and a vodka pesto sauce - Yummmmm! It was simply Outstanding!
My wife had the Driver Sea Scallops (6 jumbo) that were seared perfectly, and enjoyed immensely. I ordered the 14oz. Berkshire Pork Chop that came with Italian sausage, cherry peppers and mashed potatoes. A huge dish of heaven on a plate. It was the tastiest, most moist pork chop I have ever had.
For desert with had the Zeppole's with Nutella and in house made Pistachio Gelato. The Zeppole's were so light and Not greasy. The gelato was also outstanding. We each enjoyed a coffee and cappuccino respectfully.
Service at this restaurant is phenomenal at all levels. Lorena is truly an asset to this restaurant and our dinning experience.
My wife and I will certainly be back.
Do yourself a favor and Enjoy some "Sicilian Amore with a Fantastic Dinning Experience at Bottagra in Hawthrone.

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2  Thank AmoreChickie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Had to try is restaurant since I had many clients rave. I thought it was pretty good but expected more. The pear Cosmo was perfect, not too sweet, the salad was overdressed but the combo of bibb, jicama, apple and apricots were good, the roasted clams were delicious and we used up the bread because we couldn't leave the sauce, the risotto was not even warm but the fish on top was hot enough. It's quite a large restaurant and probably a little overwhelming for the very pleasant and busy staff, at least on a Saturday evening. Though, after reading these reviews I will try it another time on a less busy evening.

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1  Thank travlin'cook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Took my favorite clients there for dinner last night. The food was fantastic! I highly suggest their signature pasta dish. The description says it has tuna in it (which really didn't sit too well, until my client lobbied to have it as a shared app.) The flavor was perfect. One would never know that tuna was the base for this delicious pasta entree. Plenty of garlic, so make sure everyone has a taste.
Each of us shared the pasta dish and then ordered main courses. No complaints there either. Plates went back clean! The service was the right amount without him hovering over us which was perfect because we transacted some business as well.
The bar scene looked to be chic and fashionable. All in all, a great restaurant. We had a fantastic meal and enjoyed the time spent. Will be back soon.

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1  Thank MayorMike12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

We're very glad we learned about this out-of-the-way restaurant. This was a totally enjoyable experience from the moment we walked in through our departure. The owner not only greeted us but also stopped by our table during dinner. The entire staff was extremely friendly. The menu and wine selection are great and the specials were a bonus. The food was innovative and outstanding. At times the service was a little sluggish; our waiter appeared to be spread thin. Other reviews mentioned the noise level. For just the 2 of us sitting next to each other, it was not a problem. But I could see how a large group would have difficulty conversing.

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1  Thank GPBucket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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