Friday, March 16, 2012

Bottega di Luca

One of my favorite Italian restaurants in Bangkok…I never get tired of going to Bottega di Luca. The place is so popular now that we have to always call to reserve a table. This is Bangkok for goodness sakes; reserving a table? But; the sad truth is yes, we have to because Bottega di Luca is so good in so many ways.

One of the key reasons why we are repeat customers at Bottega di Luca is their outdoor dinning terrace. The outdoor terrace's atmosphere & ambiance is charming, cozy & always buzzing with happy people eating, drinking & talking. Even if it is raining the sliding cover/roof allows us to eat outdoor. But there is nothing as nice as eating pasta under the stars.

There are three choices for your seating pleasure…the sofa, the normal dinning table & chair or the high table & chairs. We normally choose the high table & chairs. We do not find eating dinner on a sofa very comfortable.

My starter was Tuna tartare (390 baht). Tuna tartare with the real "Bottarga di ton no" tuna salt cured egg from Sardinia (express smoked on request). I was sad with the small portion I was served; but, that is a personal thing since I eat like a pig and what I consider a good portion probably can feed a family of 5. The tuna was fresh & hand chopped nicely into chunks. The salt cured eggs (a great treat to find in Bangkok) added a lovely satiness & texture to the dish…a good balance of acidity, salty and sour. Very nice dish.

My friend's starter was Veal carpaccio (490 baht). Imported Italian free-range veal carpaccio Albese style covered with flanks of Castelmagno D.O.P. cheese. The veal was sliced so thin that you could actually see through it (how do they do that?). The veal was so fresh, tender and tasty. The rocket & dried tomatoes added great flavor; but the Castelmagno cheese added amazing richness & flavor to the dish. A simple dish but so complex with flavors.

My other friend's starter was Grilled Scamoza (380 baht). Smoked mozzarella cheese wrapped in speck ham with a side dish of sautéed mushrooms. This was the first time anyone in my gang ordered this dish; so I was excited to try it. The smoked scamoza had the most incredible texture because it was so fresh and the smoky taste was heavenly. Thank goodness the speck ham did not make this dish too salty. It just added even more flavor. Just lovely.

My main dish was Acquerello with porcini mushrooms (360 baht). Premium quality risotto with porcini mushrooms lightly sautéed in white wine sauce. Its very rare to get Acquerello here; so we had to have it. The risotto was cooked perfectly, the mushrooms were so soft & tender, the white wine sauce was rich & creamy. The combinations made this dish outstanding.

My friend's main dish was Pici with leg of lamb (440 baht). Pici-homemade-spaghetti, with leg of lamb slow stewed in red wine sauce. We had no idea what Pici was so we had to ask the chef and the waiter to bring out a sample (just being curious). Pici looks and feels like Japanese udon (or visa versa). Pici originated and is a specialty of the Sienna area. Pici is a bit more dense & chewy than normal spaghetti. The slow stewed lamb leg came in squared chunks and was very tender & moist. I personally thought it was lacking in saltiness; but that is the only fault I could find in this delicious dish.

My other friend's main dish was Spaghetti with fresh sea urchin (540 baht). Spaghetti with fresh sea urchin imported from France, in cherry tomato covered with grated mullet bottarga. We know how expensive sea urchin can be; but also know how yummy it can be. So my friend decided to go for it. The sea urchin gave the spaghetti a very unique flavor…nothing else gives this kind of flavor; it's really hard to describe. Its almost a metallic flavor to it (I mean this in a good way). Thank goodness because this dish was absolutely amazing.

Inside the restaurant; they have choices of anti pasti and charcuterie in plain view.

Overall; Bottega di Luca has everything going for it to make it one of the best restaurants in Bankgok. Great atmosphere, the service is outstanding in terms of efficiency and also friendliness, the food is delicious consistently and the monthly specials are always unique and stuff you rarely see or get in Bangkok. Oh; and there is always parking (very important).

The owner/chef Luca is simply a nice guy. Always in a friendly mood & high spirit. He is always willing to explain anything on the menu or just have small talk.

The only issue I have about Bottega di Luca is that too many people know about it…damn!

Address: Terrace 49
Sukhumvit soi 49, Bangkok 10110

Telephone: 02-204-1731

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