Monday, August 17, 2009


Back to Yountville California, located just north of Napa, this is where you will find the V Market. More importantly this is where Napa Style and Bottega are located, both are the creations of Chef Michael Chiarello. As you know last year I met Michael at Napa Style, I acquired some fantastic salt and drank some really good wine. This year on our trip, my goal was to eat at Bottega, Michaels new restaurant that is located directly across from Napa style. After spending the day wine tasting, my guy and I arrived at the V Market just moments before Napa Style closed and managed to slip in and buy a bunch of salt…and apparently ended up with Herbes de Napa (a special blend of rosemary, lavender, fennel, thyme, savory and bay). I was aiming for grey salt and got the herbes by mistake…They have actually turned out to be pretty tasty!

After our whirlwind through Napa Style, which I am pretty sure my guy enjoyed this time more than the last trip, we took my salt and had dinner at Bottega. Anything more than five minutes in a store and my guy starts getting restless!

Bottega has a warm, rustic yet refined feel to it. The covered patio is a combination of couches for lounging, a wood burning fireplace and seating for dinning. The feel is of someone’s personal out door living space. The d├ęcor has lots of reds, oranges, and chocolate browns, I thought it was beautiful. There were strings of white lights all around that I am sure at night make the area glow.

My guy and I opted to enjoy the great late afternoon weather and sit out side. Coming from Phoenix there is no sitting out doors this time of year!
Have I mentioned how much I like salt? My favorite touch, was that on the tables instead of a salt shakers there is a small bowl of salt with a little spoon! Am I crazy to think that is awesome? It wasn’t your usual salt either, it was grey salt, and I probably could have eaten it all by itself. Don’t worry I didn’t…I did sample it a lot though!

Chef Chiarello has created a menu of micro-regional Italian cuisine using house made ingredients and focusing as much as possible on local produce and other products.

The wine list is extensive and from what I can tell is all Napa and surrounding area wines. You can spend anywhere from $24 to $500 on one bottle! I chose a 2007 Zinfandel A. Rafanelli, from Dry Creek $45. Dry Creek is located in Healdsburg Ca, and the winery specializes in Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.

When first seated our server Murph brought out a bowl of rustic bread with a dipping sauce of olive oil, garlic and herbs…SO good!

For our meal we decided to share, in the spirit of trying not to eat until we are miserable! We ordered the Smoked & Braised Natural Short Ribs served with preserved-lemon spinach and smokey jus. That was $28 and worth every penny! The short ribs were moist and falling apart tender, with awesome flavor! The spinach was also cooked just right with a hint of lemon. Even the man, who doesn’t do spinach unless it is swimming in cheese liked it.

As a side ( $6 each) we chose the Delfina Potatoes, smashed & fried with crisp garlic, parsley, lemon and flake salt. These were absolutely spectacular! The crispy garlic and salt made these potatoes! I have been thinking about them ever since!

The service at Bottega was friendly, knowledgeable and prompt. Murph split the Short ribs and spinach at the table for us, all while telling stories about Michael as though they were best friends. Not sure if Chef Chiarello is “just the best boss ever!” or if it is part of the entertainment. All in all the afternoon was perfect! The food was even better than I had expected, the wine and the company were wonderful and the atmosphere and attention to details made for a relaxing afternoon. What a great way to spend a day!

Bottegga would receive a 6 sister rating if that was possible...But since that is just crazy talk , I give it a five sister rating. If you are ever in the area don't miss the opportunity to eat at Bottega. There is even the possibility that Chef Micheal himself could be there, Chef coat and apron on! If you see him tell him the Wino says hi!
Bon Appetite!

Lunch:Tuesday through Sunday: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm.
Dinner:Monday through Thursday: 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sunday: 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm


  1. Ahhhh Napa. Such a magical place. I haven't been to any of Michael's restaurants. I'll have to add this one to the list the next time I'm in town.

  2. Huge Bottega Fan, I can often be found here.
    One Great TIP is to have Wine by the Quartino (carafe)
    Both the Domestic and Import reds are GREAT - The pours are often generous offering well over a Glass and a 1/2.