If you’re reading downtownster you might already have a feel for our style—we’re not a news blog, meaning that we don’t run around and look to break the latest greatest story in less than six hundred words. Frankly we leave that to Ed and Eric at blogdowntown. No, our mission at downtownster is to find stories and get involved in them—we’re storytellers, each with our own unique voice / point of view. And as of the time of this blog I’m pleased to say there are now fifteen downtownster writers working on stories.
That being said, David Kean (The Realtor) mentioned to me this morning that Bottega Louie was doing a soft opening today, the official opening being next week. Three years in the making all the usual words have been written. I did however want to stop by to see if Bottega Louie belonged on the downtownster story list, so here I sit—literally. Am I breaking a story and the downtownster mission? Yeah. Funny thing that I can’t even not break my own rules.
Why? I walked into the space and ran right into Leslie, formerly of Roy’s fame; the tour began immediately. Words and phrases came to my mind with blistering rapidity. Perfect, classy, transcendent, absolute perfection, game changer, superlative, love, romance, Europe, instant classic—and I can go on. I love saying this: let me say this simply Bottega Louie is in a league of its own. It is a game changer in Downtown and everyone else is going to have to rise to the occasion. And that’s putting it lightly. I’ve been blessed to eat at a good number of the best restaurants in the world, they having nothing on this place with respect to vibe and being the overall package.
Downtownster will be doing several stories on Bottega Louie, Kat our culinary genius will be getting into the mind of their kitchen / genius chef, Sam Marvin (Vice President) and I’m definitely going to sit down with Daniel Flores (President of Bottega Louie) and Leslie (Director of Retail) to find the soul of the matter. But for now let me just revel in breaking good news for Bottega Louie and for Downtownsters. The heavy-duty stuff will come later, I promise.
Bottega, which means little store in some other language, and Louie, which sounds like the name of a cool guy that would own a cool little store, describes Bottega Louie inversely. Bottega Louie is not small. The spatial impact is huge and hits you like a sledgehammer from all angles. The ceiling height, the open kitchens, the neatly organized shelves in the retail area, the expansive white marble, the floor to ceiling windows, the white walls that just go away, and strangely the impeccably dressed staff all combine to make the huge space warm and homey. Like a good coffee house you want to stay in this place. I think many downtownsters were under the impression that Bottega Louie was going to be mostly a gourmet store with a restaurant. The store is incredible, but make no mistake about it; Bottega Louie is a restaurant with a great gourmet store and takeout counter to die for.
The food, which I sampled lightly, because I don’t intend this to be a culinary review, was perfect. The fact that it was perfect and the restaurant is technically not even open speaks to serious attention to the training of the staff. Training the staff is almost a lost art today…And I’ll concede to places like the Yard House that their staff knows all 150 beers. But I’m talking about the quality of the food, and service so fast that I’m not kidding when I tell you that it took about three minutes to get a hot pizza, Cesar Salad, and soup. Pizza, the Margherita Pizza was the best I’ve ever had. Soup, the vegetarian Lentil was unique, I’ve never had anything like it. Cesar Salad, as good as I’ve ever had and the best in Downtown.
I should mention that BOTTEGA LOUIE IS NOT EXPENSIVE! From the praise that I’m heaping on you might think so, but Bottega Louie is a recession buster. That being said you should dress up to dine at this restaurant…Only because it’s good for the vibe. When I say “not expensive” I mean that a pizza and coffee for two is going to cost you a twenty…That’s ten dollars a person to sit and eat in a masterpiece of a restaurant.
On the subject of vibe: great space, well-dressed good-looking staff, world-class food, GOOD MUSIC, and a bartender with the title mixologist. There is no mood or occasion that Bottega Louie does not fit and add to substantially.
Okay time for some Stan philosophy here: our country has been on the wrong track for a long time now. I blame this on the culture of mediocrity that is particularly pervasive in Big Corporate America and Government. Inferior people working their way up the ladder and hiring people below them who are even worse. Note: inferior people make their way up the ladder by not getting fired. They hire people less competent than themselves so as to not be made to look bad. If you’re one of these people and you’re reading my blog, do me a favor, don’t. What does this have to do with Bottega Louie? The moment I walked into the space and met the people involved I knew that someone with a great vision had been backed by someone who gets what this country is supposed to be about and then the vision and the money were surrounded by people with passion who made it happen the way it should happen. This formula is what once made this country great. And it’s with real passion of my own that I tell you that it’s still possible—come see it for yourself.
Bottega Loui is located at 700 South Grand Avenue.