I have crushes on celebrity chefs. One of my crushes is Chef Michael Chiarello. So, when my husband and I had the opportunity to head to Napa for a quick trip, I made sure to make a reservation via OpenTable at Chef Chiarello’s Bottega, specializing in micro-regional Italian cuisine. Bottega is one of the top restaurants to visit while in the Napa area. If you get the chance, make a stop, and simply get carried away by the heart-warming, elegant, friendly service and food.
My husband and I only had lunchtime to visit. I loved the style of decor, and the quick, friendly, attentive service. For our first courses, my husband chose the Potato Dough Raviolo, filled with spinach and ricotta, black truffles, farm fresh egg yolk, sage brown butter. The key to this perfect dish, is to simply slice the raviolo in half, and marvel at the gorgeous yolk and brown butter flow into flavors that are irresistable.
I ordered, the pork belly and egg dish with a maple braised pork belly, crispy soft cooked egg, a bean salad. Oh my heavens, I love how they prepare eggs here. I was in egg heaven.
Next up, I selected the Black Pepper Bucatini alla Carbonara with a soft cooked hen egg, grilled escarole, guanciale and parmigiano brodo. One of my most favorite kinds of pastas, are ones with a perfectly cooked egg. Why? I love it when the soft yolk can be mixed into the pasta, making everything creamy, and every bite a moment to savor.
My husband chose the Smoked & Braised Natural Short Ribs Polenta, and the meat was so tender it really did melt off the bone.
At this point we could barely finish our dishes, but knew we had to try the dessert. We ordered the donuts with pumpkin custard with a hot chocolate sauce to dip, and a poached pears over sand cake. It was a very, satisfying, happy lunch.
The ambiance at lunch is upscale, but relaxed. I wouldn’t hesitate to bring our daughters to eat at Bottega, they’d love it.
I have heard that Chef Chiarello will visit the restaurant from time-to-time, and meet with customers. One day, I’ll get to shake his hand and stammer, as the things I wish to say freeze in my mind.
Bottega is located at V Marketplace, 6525 Washington St., A9, Yountville, CA 94599
I was not paid for this review, all opinions are my own.