74 Bourke St
For my sister’s 21st birthday, the family headed out to the city for a nice meal to celebrate. My sister chose to go to Bottega as she felt like Italian and we get a nifty 25% off the total bill with the Entertainment Gold Card.
The restaurant itself is quite dimly lit (hence the dodgy photos) but has a simple elegant decor in brown hues. Our waitress was really lovely, helped with the menu and made us feel quite comfortable which was great.
My dad ordered an entree size of the Strozzapreti with Clams, Mussels, Prawns and Calamari which I think he enjoyed, though by looks it definitely got a big tick. Had I liked seafood I would have liked to have tried it.
For mains, we ordered:
- Char-grilled lamb rump - I had a little try of it and they had cooked the meat perfectly, it was tender and not too chewy. The eggplant/cheese stack that accompanied was a bit heavy on the cheese though (even though I adore cheese!)
- Gnocchi, tomatoes, broad beans and bocconcini - The gnocchi was absolutely amazing! It’s the best gnocchi I’ve ever eaten, even beating my previous favourite at Cafe Corretto (Carlton). The whole dish as a whole worked really well with the simple and fresh flavours.
- Pan-fried duck breast (forgot the proper dish name, and the website doesn’t have it!) - The duck itself tasted really good with the right amount of seasoning - and the skin, wow it was crisp and amazing. Would have liked the duck cooked just a tad longer but that was just a slight issue. The accompaniments were really quite good as well, and I don’t know how they cooked the carrots but I would have eaten a whole bucket of them.
- Pasta special - Egg agnoletti in a duck ragu- Really good flavours going on, but seemed a bit on the ‘boring’ side for me compared to the other dishes.
Dessert is definitely a must if I go out to eat with my sister, and after struggling with the heavy Italian-based menu, we got ourselves sorted out with two desserts:
- Tiramisu - My sister virtually polished this off by herself as she is a major tiramisu lover. I got two spoons in and it was so strong in the espresso and liquor flavours, with several hints of almond. Loved it!
- Blood orange crema, espresso ice-cream - Just need to start by saying the espresso ice-cream was divine, the espresso was rich and strong, and not tainted with much sugar as lots of coffee ice-cream is. The creme brulee and the ice-cream by themselves were really nice but I’m not sure if they really worked well together.
I’ve lost the receipt, but I think dinner ended up being around $160 already with the 25% discount so for a higher-priced restaurant we thought it was a great experience. Might come back during the express lunch/pre-theatre times to try a more of their menu.