Food Scoop "Birmingham"

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Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Southern Italian Flare in Birmingham!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on May 29, 2012

Recently I met some local foodies at Bettola Restaurant, which is located at Pepper Place in the Lakeview District. This quaint, dynamic, & eclectic eatery serves up authentic Southern Italian food. Several of their classic dishes include the signature Neopolitan pizzas that are cooked in a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza oven— which was handcrafted in Naples, Italy and shipped to Birmingham. This oven is capable of cooking a pizza in 90 seconds.

This was my first visit to Bettola and I had no idea what to expect, but let’s just say that I’m so glad that I visited. Upon arriving to dinner, I saw my guests sitting on the outdoor patio and I began to greet each and every one. And as we slowly began to trickle in, the atmosphere seemed to liven up and greatness was being created. On this warm evening, I met a diverse group of people that seemed to be a wonderful reflection of this great city and community of Birmingham. More specifically, my large party consisted of people of different races, ages, occupations, perspectives, and many more various characteristics. Earlier in the day, I was wondering how would I get all of these people to converse amongst each other because I thought that these various differences would be a hindrance, however, I was completely wrong. The conversation just flowed throughout the entire night.

I was amazed to see that the restaurant had assigned just one waitress to take care of 14 people, but she did an amazing job. Our experience was truly personalized by the restaurant and the customer service that we received rivaled that of many others. Everyone started out with drinks, homemade bread & marinated olives (contain pits/seeds). Not long after, the staff surprised us and brought out complementary antipasti’s for the entire table. These antipasti’s included a calamari dish, prepared by the owner especially for us; it consisted of squid, arugula, garbanzo beans, and thinly sliced ginger. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish, but a few other people felt differently about it.

The next antipasti was served to us on a long wooden board, which had prosciutto, capicola ham, house sausage, salame mostrano (salami), two special types of cheese, pickled vegetables, & dried apricots in a housemade glaze. Everyone loved at least one thing from this special dish.

After enjoying the drinks and antipasti’s, I discovered that this was going to be a long night because I still had to order an entree and a dessert, but I definitely wasn’t complaining. For an entree I ordered the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (pasta) which was made with House-Made Tagliatelle Pasta, Ragu Bolognese, Two-Year Aged Parmigiano Reggiano. This dish was delicious and filling; I would order it again.

Everyone else ordered a variety of dishes, but the main dish that our group ordered were the variety of signature pizzas. For example, here is the Quattro Stagioni which is made with Cotto Ham, Artichokes, Mushrooms, Black Olives.

Not everyone got a dessert, but I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. So I got the Torta di Mandorle which consisted of Burnt Butter-Vanilla-Almond Cake, Mascarpone Cream, Toasted Almonds. It was scrumptious but there was no way that I could eat it all. The cake was moist on the inside and had a wonderful vanilla almond flavor.

The lady sitting next to me ordered the Torta Cioccolata Warm Truffle Chocolate Baked in Toasted Almond Tart, Espresso Gelato, Toasted Almonds. She really enjoyed this dish and I sampled it; it was good but I’m not a big fan of coffee flavored ice cream and it was really rich.

Overall our entire restaurant experience was phenomenal and I can’t wait to return. The owner and chef James Lewis has definitely created a gem. The prices range from $15-$25 per entree. So I encourage you to visit Bettola Restaurant and sample the authentic flavors of Southern Italy, without even having to leave Birmingham. Grazie!

Bettola on Urbanspoon

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Posted in Italian, Pizza, Upscale | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

In the “MIX”

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on February 2, 2011

MIX bakery is located in downtown Birmingham, in the former Restaurant G location. This swank bakery serves a variety of pastries, breads, drinks, and lunch; which are all reasonably priced. MIX is open Monday-Friday from 7:30am-4:30pm.

Also I took home two doughnuts, the two  flavors were blueberry and vanilla bean. Both were large (I had to hold each one with both hands) and loaded with icing, but not too much icing. Even though I sampled both flavors, my favorite was the blueberry because it was just a regular doughnut with blueberry icing. I guess you can kind of say that I’m partial to blueberry anyway. The vanilla bean doughnut was a regular doughnut with vanilla bean icing and pecans on top. Furthermore, I could tell that both doughnuts were fresh because they were very soft as I bit into them.

Ratings are based from 1-10 (1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest)

Ambiance: 10

Service: 10

Food: 9

Mix on Urbanspoon

Where The Locals Eat featured blog

Posted in Bakery, Downtown Eats, My Favorite Lunch Spots | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bottega’s

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on March 16, 2010

Today was cloudy and dreary outside, but inside my life the sun was shining as bright as ever. I met up with a friend who is helping me find a nice suit to wear to my aunt’s huge birthday party, next week. My friend is a designer who just moved here from Denver, so she took me to some hot spots in town to find a cool outfit. Of course you know I got hungry during the process, so we decided to have lunch at “Bottega Restaurant and Cafe”.

Upon arriving on the front patio, of the restaurant, I felt like I had been transported to some chic European town. The hostess sat us in a prime location to people watch and enjoy the view. I’m so happy to almost always get great seats in restaurants. Our waiter was knowledgeable about every item on the menu because I asked numerous questions since I wasn’t sure what to order. FYI:  When I go to a restaurant, I can put on a show because I like to know the waiter’s favorite menu items, how things are prepared, what’s popular on the menu, and other things; my guests are always entertained by me! Ultimately, I got the Spaghetti Bologonesse and my friend got the Bottega Burger. We both enjoyed the entrees, and for desert we ordered the Pecan Coconut Cake covered in a vanilla sauce. All of this food was so good, simple as that!

Frank Stitt is the owner of this restaurant and he is a home-grown world renowned chef, so that explains why the food is exceptional and why there is so much attention to detail. The customer service was excellent and was complemented when one of the waiters opened the door for us to leave the restaurant. I’ve never been to a restaurant where the workers run to open the door for someone to enter or exit, lol! This experience filled my VIP Treatment meter to the max today and I am so happy.

Furthermore, if you want a classy European experience filled with good food and quality customer service, go to Bottega, and you will probably see me there!

http://www.bottegarestaurant.com/

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