La Bottega: Awesome Italian in the Heart of Chelsea

La Bottega at the Maritime Hotel is the perfect place to luxuriate in the late-night hours of a crisp, clear-skied autumn night. Overhead paper lanterns dance in the breeze and ambient lighting shines onto the large patio space from indoors. The Maritime hotel attracts a fun, eclectic mix of visitors; the atmosphere is rich and bubbly. The food is something to travel for.

With all the fresh options on the insalate menu, pasta has its balance. Go for the creamy goat cheese ravioli with sunflower seeds and the beautiful little potato gnocchi with mushrooms -these are the comfort foods of comfort food! If pasta really isn’t it for you or you’re in the mood for something intensely satisfying and beautiful…mignon di raccordo. Usually, I get this dish medium-rare, but, as Chef Retolatto said, “I like to cook it with the bone, because it really keeps it moist and tender.” OH yes, it does. At medium-well, it was perfectly flavorful with every bite. Shocking as this may be, if I had to choose between dessert and this dish…it would be the filet mignon. Magnificent.

And when it comes to dessert, be warned: there is much to behold and it is all luscious, creamy, and elegant. An ooey-gooey chocolate bread pudding, crunchy-munchy Nutella banana pizza, and a really decadent, fresh tiramisu accompanied my usual cappucino (which was the lovely close to the night of edibles). Just as with the pizza and “classics” option, I would have to say it’s worth splurging on shared desserts. Rest assured that Retolatto feeds diners with his own passion for food and creating specialties. The classics are made with a love for tradition and new treats are crafted with the Chef’s own creative desire. Eat long, stay late, and sample the variety. You can’t go wrong at La Bottega.

La Bottega: 363 West 16th Street, NYC. // 212-242-4300

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