By Jill Weinlein, 10/25/2012
Bottega Louie is a bustling downtown café, where it’s not unusual to find 30 people waiting for a table for Sunday brunch. The restaurant does not take reservations, and seats guests on a first-come, first served basis. Pass the time in the well-stocked bar, and the wait seems only 10 minutes.
Once we were seated in a nice corner booth, water and warm French bread was delivered quickly to our table. I ordered a glass of crisp Rose Refosco Rosanto Bastiriich Fruili, 2010, and my husband ordered a generous sized glass of Downtown Brown draft beer. We started with a mache salad with brined, roasted chicken, avocado, celery, scallions and julienned snap peas dressed with a Meyer lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.
The 14oz. rib eye is a generous portion of beautifully marbled grilled beef. It comes with Kennebec French fries and Bernaise sauce for $35. As a side dish, we ordered the flash fried Brussels sprouts with toasted pistachios for $10.
There are 24 small plates to choose from for either $8, $10 of $12 each. Other entrees include four chicken dishes, shrimp scampi, King salmon, grilled pork chop, Colorado lamb chops and more. Pizzas, pastas, soups and sandwiches round out the fairly large menu.
Desserts are numerous with the chocolate soufflé at the top of the list. (allow 20 minutes). House made beignets with a raspberry dipping sauce, panna cotta, butterscotch budino and peanut butter terrine are just a few of the offerings. If you prefer to take dessert to go, stop by the enormous patisserie counter. The glass shelves are filled with pastel “Le Grand macarons” or macaroons. Choose from chocolate orange, rose and violet cassis, salted caramel and pistachio, just to name a few. You will be mesmerized by the trays of buttery croissants, cranberry lemon scones and pain au chocolate.
The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. -11 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. – midnight on weekends. To view the complete menu, go to their website www.bottegalouie.com. $$ 700 S. Grand Ave. (213)802-1470.