Today’s new experience

Today Gerry suggested that we have lunch at a place he’s been to a few times recently, Bottega Cucina.  This little place is tucked away on a side street near the West Springfield cinemas and I can’t believe that I never went there before today.  It was fantastic.
We were greeted by a gentleman who takes care of the greeting, hosting, seating, suggesting, storing of the beer and wine lists inside of his head, ordering, running, following up, and cashing out.  Granted we were there a bit earlier than the typical lunch rush normally begins, but the operation seemed quite efficient.
To start, we each ordered a beer (based on recomendation, according to our personal tastes) and we shared an app of candied red and roasted yellow beets, with turnip slaw, and crostini.  The dish of beets was topped with a blue cheese stuffed zucchini flower– YUM! My comment was “wow, this crostini looks like it should shred the inside of your mouth, and yet it’s soft and chewy inside”.  The answer to that was “we make that bread here, daily”.  Wow.  You don’t see the likes of that too often. (Thanks to Ger for the pic)
For lunch I ordered a “Funghi” flatbread which was topped with roasted mushrooms, olives, diced tomato, rosemary, basil and fresh mozzarella.  A bit on the salty side, but amazing olive flavor.
Gerry had half a panini with spinach, braised cabbage and provolone with a caper remoulade, and a side house  salad.
The dessert of the day was blueberries and raspberries layered with pastry cream and puff pastry, but my thighs sent a very serious message to my brain informing it that they just couldn’t handle that load, so I did not order (although I very  much wanted to).
Reasons why I will return to this restaurant:

  • cleanliness
  • friendly & informative staff who clearly enjoy what they do
  • great menu
  • affordable prices
  • great beer selection that’ll  never bore you (I didn’t really explore the wines at all, but next time)
  • close to home
  • nice bathroom

There is some room for improvement, and staff was very open to that feedback.  All in all, a great experience.

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