Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fancy Lunch Italian Style

We were in the fancy pants area (Waldorf Astoria, Bergdorf Goodman, etc.) and thought we'd have a hard time finding a place to eat lunch (that we could afford and where we wouldn't get the "you don't belong here" vibe). Bottega Del Vino looked just like the kind of place we couldn't afford and where we would most definitely get the "you don't belong here vibe." Well, we said "screw it" and went in.

Bottega Del Vino on 7 East 59th Street is the American counterpart to its famed Verona, Italy restaurant. To preserve the essence of the original Bottega in Italy, all furniture in this restaurant was imported from Italy. We sat in their casual dining area where lunch and breakfast are served. If they consider this casual, can you imagine what their formal dining area looks like? By the way, their restroom, which you have to take an elevator down to use, was the cleanest restaurant restroom, so clean it looked like a showroom display.

As one would expect from a restaurant like this, the presentation of the food as simple as bread and coffee was superb. We found amusement watching one of the workers meticulously cleaning the water glasses.

Bottega Del Vino is known for having one of the best wine cellars in New York. We didn't try any of their expensive wines, but we thoroughly enjoyed our brunch, Italian style. Their coffee was delicious. Their breads were wonderful. The sandwiches were both simple and refined. We ordered the Terramar, an open-faced sandwich with tuna and artichoke hearts, and this San Babila sandwich (smoked ham, brie, fontina, rucola and pate) was fantastic.

We would love to go back to Bottega Del Vino because their dinner menu looks mouth-watering. Sea scallop carpaccio, warm black truffle goat cheese, grilled filet mignon with duck pate, seared monk fish medallions . . . sounds so decadent and worth a try (if we could afford it).