Thursday, May 21, 2009

Anniversary Dinner at Bottega Louie

Tuesday the 19th (besides being Tip-a-Cop day at Pete's) was my 8th wedding anniversary. The spouse had to work so we had made tentative plans for "Happy Hour" at the recently opened Trader Vic's at LA Live: (We have made a point to celebrate a couple of our anniversaries at the Trader Vic's Emeryville previously).

SeanYoda worked much too late so our backup plan was suggested as trying Bottega Louie at 7th & Grand. It's been open a month now, and we'd heard many good things about the cafe, the wifi, the take-out etc.. Since we'd not been.. the anniversary dinner seemed like a good opportunity to give it a go!

It was after 9pm when we met up outside the restaurant. I didn't bother taking exterior or interior architectural shots.. Suffice to say the place on the inside is rather voluminous with plenty of seating and the high ceilings make for an echo chamber of patrons conversing over their meals.

You can see the menu online at the Bottega Louie website but I'll of course have shots of what we ordered!

First we were seated in the main dining area (the front is the cafe where one can have coffee, pastries or pick up from the take out coolers; I assume the wifi is also used in this area). We could barely hear anything that was said to us because of the echoing noise of the patronage. There was a good number of diners, but room for more.

We were offered stil or sparkling water which I gathered we got the still water. We ordered drinks: Diet Coke and an Arnold Palmer. While we waited for our drinks we looked over the menu. A lady sitting at the table next to us was politely inquiring if we'd been here before and was saying how much she enjoyed the Portobello fries.. so ended up ordering that (under small plates) and the Italian Salad which we asked for split plates on that..

The Italian Salad ($12) Chopped lettuce, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, black olives, pepperoncini, provolone, pepperoni & red wine vinaigrette. The Italian salad is plenty for 2 people (this is just half).

Portobello fries
Portobello Fries ($8) were a delicious and zesty treat of battered & fried portebello mushroom slices, seasoned and served with a dipping sauce. Very good! SeanYoda was thinking he'd like more sauce.. but otherwise I would definitely order this again (and was tempted to say I'd want my own.. in that it was almost too good to share. There was plenty enough for two, however).


After such great starters I didn't want to overstuff myself.. there were a couple items that caught my eye.. the Ravioli especially. Our server Kim suggested the ravioli since the portion was a little more sensible. As you will see it's 6 pillows of ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese..

Ravioli ($12) House made pasta stuffed with spinach and ricotta in a light cream sauce with pancetta, sage & peas.

Just the right size and very delicious! I used a little bit of the bread we were served with our water to make sure I got all that wonderful sauce.

SeanYoda went with our server's suggestion for the Trenne..
Trenne ($12) Braised prime rib-eye with Tuscan black kale. The pasta in this dish is a bit chewy.. The meat is heavy with flavor. SeanYoda said he liked it but I definitely preferred my dish. =)

I was definitely satisfied with my meal.. everything was perfect, but then Sean suggested dessert. I didn't know if we had it in us to split dessert.

Dessert.. which I can't recall the name of but it was very good! A fine finish to a wonderful dinner. The berries in sauce were rich!

Total with tax (before tip) came to about $60.

I have nothing but good things to say about our experience here, from the service, to the food and everything.. The only downside is the noise.. Because of the high ceilings, the sounds are just way too loud to be able to hear what is being said to one another or the staff without asking multiple times. It got rather frustrating. Despite that, we'll definitely be back!

**note: our fellow patrons at the table next to us got a pizza to go (pizza is around $14) that too looked good.. The sandwiches run about the same price so a more recession friendly meal is defnitely possible here. Don't be scared off by the fancy menu.. between a pizza and a couple beers another night, I am thinking this would be a regular spot for Downtowners.. (also the Breakfast menu looks very tempting!)

Bottega Louie
700 S. Grand
Los Angeles, CA 90017


Skidrow said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Sean! And thanks for the great review and pics- all sounds great except $12 for a salad?

I hope I get a chance to dine with you two again- I'm craving a good breakfast in your 'hood sometime.

meekorouse said...

The salad isn't a side salad it's definitely entree sized. Splitting the salad (they brought it out in 2 bowls) was definitely a good idea for us because even at half it was a LOT.

People do order salad as an entree and I think at $12 it's a fair price.

meekorouse said...

oh! Did you know Ma Petite closed a couple weeks ago? We had breakfast on our anniversary at The Nickel and I made the mistake of ordering the Tofu scramble. I like Tofu (and I like the other ingredients) but I didn't like the Tofu Scramble.. that and the Vegan Tapioca or the only items I have found on The Nickel's menu I haven't liked.. everything else has been really good.

Julie does full breakfast on Saturday.. and she's got these boiled breakfast potatoes that she does that are really good.. buttery and yummy!