>> Monday, July 20, 2009
UPDATE - July 9, 2012 - NOW CLOSED - to be replaced by Trattoria Newbury
I love sitting outside on Newbury Street on a warm summer day. The other day, I discovered this fabulous Italian cafe right on Newbury Street. The food is good, the prices are bordering cheap, and the ambiance of Newbury Street can't be beat. If you're looking for a reasonably priced place to enjoy your sidewalk dinner, don't look further than Bottega Fiorentina.
The original location in Coolidge Corner has been around since 1994, although this new location just opened up in January 2008. In fact, it replaced Wisteria House, a Taiwanese restaurant that split and moved to Cambridge and Allston recently (Cambridge location now closed).
The pastas range from $8-$12 and the wines are around $30-$40 a bottle. They also have paninis ($8-$12), antipasto ($3-$15), dinner entrees ($12-$23), and thin crust pizzas ($11-$14).
We ordered proscuitto and melon as starter. We liked how they put melon and proscuitto over a bed of arugula. The arugula adds a peppery kick and balances out the saltiness of the proscuitto and the sweetness of the melon perfectly. It simple but definitely well executed.
With pastas, you essentially pick a sauce and pick a pasta shape. The waitress told us that the "Andrea" and the "Fedora" were among the most popular sauces, so we ordered the Andrea with linguini and the Fedora with their house-made spinach gnocchi.
The "Andrea" was good. The proscuitto gave the dish good umami flavor while the cream sauce provided balance. The mushroom were tasty, although, sadly, I could not really taste the truffle oil very much. Nevertheless, the dish had good flavor, and the portion size was quite reasonable.
The Fedora sauce (Tomatoes, Red Peppers, Garlic, Rosemary & Cream) is also good. The waitress mistakenly brought us the normal gnocci when we had ordered the house made spinach gnocchi. I snapped a picture, but we did not actually try this dish.
The spinach gnocchi is soft, significantly bigger than normal gnocchi, and definitely full of spinach. It was fun to eat and felt kind of healthy. Although the dish was enjoyable and the gnocchi was fun to chew on, the sauce itself was not particularly memorable. The sauce was good and the red pepper definitely sweetened the flavor, but I can't even really remember anymore what it tasted like.
Nevertheless, even if it's not a "wow" dish, it's still solid and very reasonably priced.
Over all impression? I would definitely come here again if I'm spending the day in Back Bay. Bottega Fiorentina serves up solid pasta dishes, nice reasonable portion sizes, GREAT prices, and - on a nice day - an unbeatable location on the sidewalk of Newbury Street.
264 Newbury Street