“For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths.”
We have certainly been in garden mode here at Everyday Living…and I have enjoyed every minute of it! I have loved sharing my gardening journey with you all and I am so impressed by all of the links you shared on my first link party! Today, I want to switch gears to talk about something else that I love: food. I’m pretty sure we can all agree on that topic! Butch and I have long been fans of all types of food, but especially true Italian cuisine. With three trips to Italy, it has become our favorite next to our beloved food of the the South. We have literally eaten our way through our stops in Italy…the freshest seafood on the Grand Canal in Venice…a wood-fired Pizza Margherita on the isle of Capri…heavenly cannoli in Lucca…the creamiest gelato in San Gimignano…the unbelievable pastas in Rome’s trattorias…ok, I will stop. I am making myself hungry, and I am sure you get the picture!
Fortunately for us, we don’t have to travel very far to enjoy the best of Italian food! 60 miles down the road from us is Birmingham…the home of Alabama’s most celebrated chef, Frank Stitt. Birmingham’s foodie scene can be traced back to Chef Stitt as he put it on the food map with his famous Highlands Bar and Grill and the French cafe Chez Fonfon that is next door…but those aren’t his only restaurants in the area. Today, we will be visiting a beautiful Palladian-style building on Highland Avenue, Bottega Favorita that houses his other two restaurants. The dressy main dining room occupies one side with the more casual cafe occupying the other side. Both experiences are wonderful, but today we will step inside the cafe and sit down for a quick bite! Like I said, it is more casual, and Butch likes that no coat or reservations are required. But on occasion, I do manage to get him all dressed up for the dining room! And yes, it is Italian, but you can expect to find the freshest southern vegetables to show up in your pasta or risotto! Buon Appetito!
The cafe’s Pompeii red walls, huge brick wood-fired oven, long bar and communal table combine for a truly Italian style food experience!
After being seated, Butch looks forward to the quick arrival of the Bottega infused olive oil and the best ever focaccia! Our kitchen is never without Bottega olive oil which is available for purchase.
…I have made this wonderful appetizer with the recipe from the Bottega Favorita Cookbook – roasted red and gold peppers filled with soft goat cheese, pine nuts, and sweet sultanas and lots of fresh basil…
Desserts are special at all of Frank Stitt’s restaurants. For the past two years pastry chef Dolester Miles has been a finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation. Dol’s version of tiramisu, the classic Italian dessert, uses slices of polenta cake rather than ladyfingers. Let me just say, it appears often at our table…
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