bottega | melbourne restaurant review

Oh.My.Gosh.

That is what myself and my fellow dinner guests profusely exclaimed throughout our dining experience at Bottega in Melbourne last week…

After reading a great review from Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine, I ate at the acclaimed modern Italian restaurant Bottega when I was in Melbourne last year for a girls shopping weekend with Mum and Auntie Georg. It impressed me so much that I put it forward to my travel buddies for our first dinner destination on our Queen’s birthday long weekend trip down south. And it was Amazing with a capital A.

Bottega street frontage (pic: website)

This restaurant looks good. The smooth chocolate pallet instantly delivers comfort and calm; there are booth seats, crisp white table cloths, modern Italian touches like a red leather chair in the upstairs landing and large mirrors to convey space and allow you to check your lipstick from a discreet distance, as well as impeccable service from waitstaff that truly understand the menu, the wine list and yet remain personable. Unlike a lot of top end restaurants, Bottega remains smug-free!

Bottega interior (pic: website)

The six of us decided on mains and some shared desserts with a couple of bottles of great Shiraz from St Hallet in the Barossa.

(Ian hadn’t arrived from Sydney yet, so my Melbourne friend Anthony stepped in to take his seat at the table)

Janine ate; 

Pan seared barramundi, black rice, parsnip puree, salsa verde

 Nath ate;

Scottadito Rutherglen lamb braised with pepperoncino, almond & green olive salsa

 Jay ate;

Semi-cured & roasted Western Plains pork belly, celeriac, roasted shallot, apple slaw

Mandy ate;

Risotto of blue swimmer crab, prosecco, chilli & roasted cumin

Anthony ate;

Chargrilled aged scotch fillet with pecorino & parsley salad

Mel ate;

Prawn & Moreton Bay bug ravioli, sauce vierge

Seriously, the ravioli is light and melts in my mouth. It’s packed with delicate plump prawn meat and lightly bathing in a seafood bisque stock reduction which is slightly salty with a burst of fresh lemon oil and scattered with fragrant thyme leaves. It’s topped with a mound of sweet, succulent bug meat. I am dead-serious when I say it is one of the best dishes I have ever eaten.

We share a couple of sides; rosemary roast potatoes which are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the in and are great to soak up the juices of the dishes, cauliflower, pomegranate, pinenuts and currants which are a nice flavour surprise and good accompaniment.

The complimentary fresh bread flows regularly and it is a warm sourdough with organic butter. I keep fading out of the lively conversation thinking does it get better than this? I am in gastronomic heaven. But apparently it does…with the arrival of the dessert menu…

Neen eats;

selection of house made sorbetti (raspberry, strawberry & passionfruit)

Mandy eats;

Chocolate fondente, rut & rum sultana icecream, pistachio praline

Anthony eats;

warm pear clafoutis, house-made rhubarb icecream

Nathan abstains from dessert and Jay drinks his in the form of a smooth 30-year aged scotch served with distilled water.

Mel eats;

trio of cheeses with roasted walnuts and fruit paste

It is an amazing culinary experience and we leave with a healthy tip for the impeccable service and joyfully full tummies.

the bill

Bottega | 74 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
phone | 03 9654 2252
email | dine@bottega.com.au

Bottega - pic from their website
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