La Bottega, an italian gourmet restaurant/franchise occupies a rustic wooden shacklike venue in the town of Roslyn. On the recommendation of friends I made a reservation to have dinner this past week. For two years I had driven by this little restaurant and been impressed with the large lunch time crowds La Bottega attracted. The restaurant offers indoor as well as a small group of outdoor “porch”dining tables. . The surprise to me was the charming, spacious indoor dining room with an open kitchen and large pizza oven. Our host for the evening was GM Steve Sohmar, a dynamic host, with a big personality.
We were seated at a table by a window and adjacent to the kitchen on a busy friday night. After reviewing bottega’s extensive italian and gluten free menus, we began our italian culinary adventure. We started with a generous plate of classic bruschette made with crispy italian bread, fresh tomatos, garlic and fresh basil. This was followed by a large bowl of crispy romaine hearts, crabbata croutons, shaved parmigiano and creamy caesar dressing.
Steve sent over a slices of bottega’s renowned artisan margherita pizza. Made with homemade tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, it was a perfect lead into our entree selections.
After sampling our delicious appetizers we anxiously awaited our entrees:
Risotto con vitello al brasato-Risotto w/shredded braised veal shank, butternut squash, parmigiano attractively presented on white china plates. Risotto at many restaurants often means mediocre rice with some vegetables. Bottega’s risotto was the perfect mixture of rice, meat, squash, and cheese.
Salmon alla Griglia– A generous portion of grilled salmon, pink, moist and served with sauteed zucchini and mashed potatoes. We were impressed with the presentation, freshness and flavor of the salmon.
Before our desserts, we asked steve to join us and share some background on his culinary journey. We particularly wanted to know the secret for transforming this small venue into a lunch time favorite for a very upscale north shore clientele. Fine fresh food, fair prices, attention to detail, and a well trained staff all contribute to the success of the restaurant. Steve’s friendliness, enthusiasm and culinary knowledge add to joy of dining at La Bottega.
Dessert proved to be a choice of “forbidden pleasures” with offerings that included home made gelato, flan, cheese cake, tiramisu, tarts, linzer tarts and nutella. Our favorites, the flan and gelato.
Bottega also offers an extensive array of domestic and imported wines and liquors at affordable prices as well as a large catering menu.
Kudos to Steve and his staff for a great evening.
La Bottega, 1424 Old Northern Boulevard, Roslyn, N.Y. 11576 tel: 516-621-2685