Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friday: A Late Lunch at Michael Chiarello's Bottega

We were a little early for our 1:30 reservation so we wandered through Michael Chiarello's (key- a- rello)Napa Style; kitchen and food shop, deli and wine tasting. He has so many flavored gray salts it's amazing. Napa Style is right across the walkway from his restaurant.

Sarah and I outside Bottega.

The waiter suggested The Chiarello Family Winery Napa Valley Zinfandel to go with the three entrees we chose. This is a fabulous Zin we all ended up adoring. so much so we bought a few bottle at Napa Style after our incredibly delicious lunch. Michael has signed every bottle that is sold in Napa Style.

David and I enjoying the Zin while waiting for our appetizer selections.

Sarah enjoying the Zin as well.

Chef Chiarello works his restaurant at least 6 days a week. We were fortunate enough to get to see him while dining there. I am a long time fan of his from La Trigvine (not sure I have the spelling correct) restaurant in Napa, his cooking shows on Food Network, his cookbooks and most recently he was on Bravo Master Chef's and won so he will be returning for the grand challenge against other top winning chefs. (He is a cutie, isn't he?)

We ordered two appetizers to share. The first was Bruschetta Trio Roasted rapini salsa rossa, and pecorino, braised artichoke and Toscanello white beans, carrot and eggplant caponata with goat cheese. wonderful fresh flavors.

The second was Monterrey calamari, crisped with Arborio rice flour with aioli nero (lemon aioli with squid ink). This appetizer was to die for. Amazingly light but crisp coating on the calamari pieces, and the squid ink in the lemon aioli was brilliant. I would go back just to have this appetizer.
The aioli nero.
David with black lips from the squid ink.

There are pictures of our three entree choices Sarah took, but we didn';t have the appropriate cord to get them onto our computer so she is going to email them to me when she gets home. When I receive them I will share them here. Chef Chiarello uses fresh local ingredients and his dishes have the Italian flair of his heritage and wine country nuances. This was a perfect lunch for our day in Napa Valley. I am already thinking what I will order the next time we are there. When you are planning a trip to the Napa Valley seriously consider making reservations for lunch or dinner at Bottega in Yountville. You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Looks like a WONDERFUL place to go! How awesome that you actually got to see Michael Chiarello in person?? And David's lips...gotta love that! Squid ink??? You, David and Sarah look like you had a fun time over yummy food and zin!