On Friday night we made our way to Yountville for the grand opening of Chef Michael Chiarello’s new restaurant, Bottega. We arrived shortly after 9pm and the place was absolutely jam-packed. The dining room was full and the area around the bar was three or four people deep all the way around.
…the desserts at Bottega absolutely blew away any dessert that was ever served at Tra Vigne while Chiarello was there.
Having toured the restaurant back in early October while construction was still fully underway, it was interesting to see the finished product. Ever the gracious host, Chiarello took us on a quick, personal tour of the restaurant. The interior has a very rustic feel, with dark hardwood floors, exposed red brick walls and wood-beamed ceilings. While it was full and very vibrant, the dining area near the kitchen felt extremely cozy and comfortable.
Chiarello told us there were only two tables in the restaurant for the entire night where he did not know the guests personally. There were loads of wine industry folks, including Brian Fleury of Fleury Estate Winery and as we continued our tour Chiarello introduced us to Richard Frank of Frank Family Vineyards. One of our favorite exchanges of the night, and there were many, was when Frank told Chiarello the desserts at Bottega absolutely blew away any dessert that was ever served at Tra Vigne while Chiarello was there.
We didn’t eat (instead we enjoyed two quartinos of Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon), although we did see some awfully scrumptious looking dishes on the tables. Among those that caught our eye were the Garlic Roasted Dungeness Crab ($28) and the Ricotta Gnocchi ($14). We were, however, able to get our hands on the full opening night menu, which is included below for your viewing pleasure.