Imagine the sun starting to go down after a busy day of exploring the city. It’s been beautiful and is now turning into an equally beautiful evening. You’re sitting on a terrace shaded by trees and a vine-covered trellis, which cools off the day’s piercing heat. With a glass of wine in your hand, good friends surrounding you and a gourmet meal on the way, what could be better?
This is how I spent last Saturday night. Six of us went to La Bottega at the Maritime Hotel for dinner. It’s located in my favorite area, where Chelsea and the Meatpacking District meet. Jess and I had passed by several times before in awe of the beautiful outdoor light fixtures, patio and blue umbrellas and finally made a reservation.
The ambiance was dreamlike. It didn’t even matter if the food was good because sitting on La Bottega’s terrace was enough. But of course a place that looks this good, tastes even better. Italian food was the perfect reward for a busy day of walking (and sweating for that matter).
I was between the risotto (with corn, snap peas, fava beans and mascarpone) and the steamed mussels with garlic bread but decided on the risotto. It was perfectly light and delicious. Kathleen had the integrale pizza (with wheat crust, fontina cheese, roasted peppers and caramelized onion) and Barrett orderedthe tagliatelle alla bolognese (with ragu of beef, pork and veal).
Both were great picks but the real winner was the robiola pizza (with imported cow’s milk cheese and white truffle oil) that Jess and Ross ordered. I’m slapping myself now for not taking a picture, but in my defense, the looks of it weren’t that breathtaking. It’s the flavor that ultimately wows you.
So bring a big group, sit outside and wine & dine yourself while the sun goes down. You’re a fool if you don’t order the robiola pizza…
La Bottega, 363 West 16th St.