Sunday, July 13, 2014

2nd Blogaversary dinner at Bottega Pizzeria

April is my blogaversary month and this year I decided we needed to continue the tradition of a pizza party dinner.  Instead of heading back to last year's spot, we decided to head towards little Italy and devour some delicious Neapolitan style pizzas at Bottega Pizzeria.  

I made a reservation, invited all my friends and family, and patiently waited for the delicious evening to arrive.  Arriving on time for our reservation, I was more than a little annoyed that we all stood around waiting for our table.  There was a four person table ready for us, except the reservation was for 10.  I totally understand having to wait for a table as some people do take longer than others, but offering us a cocktail to make up for the 40 minute wait would have been more than appreciated.  The front of the house basically ignored our frustration and offered no apologies.  This not only pissed me off, but my guests were visibly annoyed. 

We finally sat down at our table, ordered a bottle of wine and some fried calamari to start.  The calamari was crisp, tender and delicious.  Not over-cooked, these rings were just perfect and we all really enjoyed them.  

Then the big decisions came; what pizzas should we order?  All I knew was that I wanted to try as many different pizzas as possible, both red and white ones too.  Bottega offers their pizza served with their tomato sauce or "white" meaning no sauce.  Both are delicious and deciding between the two proved most challenging.  Finally narrowing down the options, we decided on five pizzas and two calzones. 

The Caprese pizza is one of Bottega's red pizzas and also a favourite of mine.  Simple fresh toppings always make for the best pizzas.  Bottega's owner and Chef Fabrizio Covone, takes pride in using only the best ingredients in all his dishes, and it really shows.  My Caprese pizza was topped with San Marzano tomatoes, blistered cherry tomatoes, fresh Fior di Latte mozzarella and delicious oregano.  This pizza was a work of art; so simply yet so outrageously delicious.  

The next pizza I sampled was one that I cannot remember the name of but I believe it was called La Provola.  It was a white pizza topped with prosciutto cotto, smoked provola cheese, wild mushrooms and topped with basil.  This pizza was out of this world amazing.  The cheese and salami were perfectly paired and that pizza dough - speechless.  The are no words to describe how amazing Bottega's pizza dough is, you simply must go and try it for yourself.

Another white pizza on the must order list, was the Funghi Porcini pizza.  One of their more expensive pizzas, but worth every penny in my opinion.  This tasty treat may have been the best pizza of the night.  Piled high with arugula, fresh Fior di Latte mozzarella, basil and of course porcini mushrooms, this pizza stood on a level above all others.  

One of my favourite toppings on a pizza has got to be chilli peppers.  I load it on all my pizzas so naturally we had to order the "La Diavola" pizza.  Topped with fresh Fior di Latte mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, salami, chilli peppers and fresh basil, this pizza was a hit.  I know I have been saying this about all the pizzas, but seriously they are amazing.  Fabrizio and his crew take such pride in what they create, and it really shows.  

I am not a huge lover of veggies on my pizza but my little sister is.  She chose the Ortolana pizza which was also a white pizza and topped with grilled veggies (zucchinis and peppers), fresh mozzarella and basil.  I always thought putting zucchinis on a pizza would make it soggy and watery, boy was I wrong!  This pizza was not only delicious, but not a hint of wateriness at all.  I enjoyed it so much in fact, that I am now convinced that zucchinis do belong on pizzas. 

Only showing one calzone as they both are served identically.

The last two pizza dishes on the table were the house specialty - Calzones.  We ordered two calzones; one with prosciutto and one vegetarian.  The calzones are giant.  Actually giant isn't big enough to describe how huge these calzones are. Using the same amazing dough as his pizzas, Fabrizio creates these amazing pockets of pizza goodness.  The blend of cheese inside these gigantic calzones is beyond words.   The delicious prosciutto used on the pizzas and inside the calzones is spectacular.  I loved the flavour and how well it complimented the cheeses - Amazing!!!!

No pizza dinner is complete without a delicious dessert.  Keeping with tradition, we ended our meal with Bottega's Nutella pizza.  Hot melty nutella all over Bottega's pizza dough has got to be the best dessert ever!  The soft stretchy dough makes for the perfect compliment to the sweet, gooey hazelnuty chocolaty goodness.  We scarfed this dessert down so fast, that our second dessert hadn't even been served yet!

Eating at an Italian restaurant and not ordering a cannoli for dessert should be a sin.  I am a huge lover of the traditional cannoli, I have tried chocolate ones but nothing compares to the original.  Bottega's cannolis were really good.  The marscapone cream filling was perfectly done and the "cookie" shell was crunchy and flaky, just delicious.  I could have eaten four more but stopped after one as already the food coma was brewing.  

We sipped our coffees and sat for a few minutes laughing, talking and digesting.  As we got up from the table, we thanked our waiters for putting us all into a deep food coma - bedtime!  If you're looking for the perfect pizza dinner and an intense food coma, I highly suggest trying Bottega.  

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