74 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC
PH: (03) 9654 2252
It was a couple of months ago that I was invited along to a lunch at Bottega to try out the new lunch menu designed by head chef Gabriele Olivieri. Bottega is smallish, cosy restaurant located on Bourke Street, near the Spring Street end. A few doors down is Grossi Florentino, another Italian fine dining restaurant, but Bottega owner Denis Lucey says Bottega’s aim is to keep food moderately priced. He certainly does that with an express lunch menu at $35 for 2 courses or $45 for 3 courses, including a glass of wine or coffee/tea.
I really enjoyed the food at Bottega. The highlight for me was the amazing chargrilled ox tongue which was beautifully tender. I don’t normally eat ox tongue so that’s saying a lot!
Inside Bottega – a nice place for an intimate date
Olives and grissini to start
Bruschetta, Baccala Mantecato & Vincotto
We thought it was cheesy toast at first, but it was creamy whipped salted cod.
Vitello Tonnato, Pickled Celery Hearts & Crispy Capers
This was cold, sliced veal and a bit too chewy for my liking.
Yellow Fin Tuna & Eggplant Rosemary Spiedino, Anchovy, Parsley & Chilli Oil
This was chunks of seared tuna and roasted eggplant, skewered on a stalk of rosemary so the rosemary permeated through.
Char-Grilled Ox Tongue, Salsa Verde, Anchovy & Croutons
The highlight for me. Tender, generous slices of ox tongue, flavoured with the anchovy and salsa verde
Buffalo Ricotta Filled Zucchini Flowers, Tomato & Basil Coulis, Vincotto
Unbattered, these zucchini flowers let the ricotta take centre stage.
Roasted tomato & burrata agnolotti, smoked eggplant puree, lemon rocket, balsamico
The parcels were filled with a creamy roasted tomato and cheese (burrata) filling. I thought it was interesting to serve the pasta with an eggplant puree rather than a sauce.
House Made Strozzapreti with Clams, Mussels, Prawns & Calamari
I loved the slighty firm bite of the strozzapreti (pasta) and the rich, flavoursome seafood sauce
Char-Grilled Western Plains Pork Belly, Apple Puree, Frisee Salad & Crackling
Bottega knows how to do chargrilled well and the pork belly, though fatty, was very tender
Over & Out, April xx
April dined as a guest of Bottega.