The Squirt: Truly Exceptional Award Winning Cuisine
Must Eats: Green Egg and Ham; Polenta Under Glass; Everything
Prices: Moderate to Expensive
Michael Chiarello is one of our favorite chefs on television, and we finally had the opportunity to eat at his award winning restaurant, Bottega. His restaurant is located in Yountville, California, a small town in picturesque Napa Valley, California. Right next to Bottega is Michael’s store named, Napa Style, which is full of wonderful items you can buy for your palette and home.
When we walked into Bottega, we were impressed by the tasteful and rustic atmosphere and the warm inviting greeting we received from the hosts. We were promptly led to the dining room which is impressively homey. It has always been one of my dreams to have dinner at Michael Chiarello’s home, as his friends are fortunate to experience on his television show. By the wonderful atmosphere of his restaurant, we can only imagine how he entertains his friends.
We were very lucky to have Laurie N. as our server for the evening. She was professional and vibrant and was the perfect person to lead us through our dining adventure. The menu at Bottega features an excellent selection of appetizers and entrees. When we hopefully get there again in the future, we will try more of them.
To start off our dinner, we ordered a delicious Charles Krug Chardonnay 2008. It was fresh and fit our meal perfectly. For appetizers, we selected two items that were truly exceptional. The first was the Green Egg and Ham. Laurie told us that this was an award winning dish and we can attest to that. It consisted of olive oil poached Delta asparagus, a crispy soft boiled egg, pecorino cheese pudding and prosciutto bits. The presentation is awesome and the flavor is outstanding. For egg lovers, this is Nirvana. I wish we could have eggs like that every morning!
Our second appetizer was the Polenta Under Glass, another award winning selection. It was truly a fascinating presentation. The polenta is served in a glass canning jar with carmelized wild mushrooms and then drizzled with balsamic game sauce on top. Being that Ren is allergic to mushrooms, we ordered them on the side. As soon as Laurie brought it over to our table, she plunged the spoon into it, stirred it around for us, and then, after we snapped a picture of it, served us a nice portion of it. Oh man, the taste was phenomenal. The consistency of the polenta and the creaminess of it, was amazing. Too bad we ate it so fast.
There were many tempting entrees on the menu, so it was very difficult to narrow down our selections, but with Laurie’s help we decided on two and shared both of them. The first was the Smoked & Braised Natural Short Ribs. The were served with preserved meyer-lemon spinach and smokey ju. The portion is excellent and the taste is absolutely amazing. Laurie told us that the short ribs are prepared over a three day period. Smoking is done on the first day which really gives the short ribs a superior flavor to remember and truly outstanding tenderness. The spinach was a terrific accompaniment with a delicate lemon taste. This dish was simply delicious.
Our second entree was the Wood Grilled Rack of Grass Fed Lamb, prepared medium. They were accompanied by fresh local fig and fennel seed dressing and creamy ancient grain polenta. The lamb was bursting with wood fire taste and the texture was delicious. The polenta was creamy and light and truly addictive. This was another delicious entree for sure.
Our experience at Bottega was really one to remember. The atmosphere, the service and the food were all simply exceptional. Laurie, our server, really knows how to pamper her guests. We look forward to dining at Bottega the next time were are in Napa Valley. Chef Michael Chiarello really knows how to do it right. Thank you, Michael.
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Be sure when you visit Bottega in Yountville, CA, that you say that you were referred to them by Roy and Ren from twosquirts.com.