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Regional Italy comes to Chevron Island

Bottega Chevron Village exterior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Bottega Chevron Village exterior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Little pockets of locality do exist along our coastline. Little suburbs that instantly feel like a community. Chevron Island Village is a testament to this with its tree-lined streets and relaxed atmosphere. The perfect place for a true and authentic European-inspired restaurant to call home, right?

Sure to fit that bill is the new Italian restaurant Bottega. The quaint venue has taken over space where once New York-styled restaurant, Tribeca NYC was knocking up tasty American-styled eats, but alas, no longer. It’s not all bad news though, as Bottega, having just recently opened, is a legitimate contender as your new favourite taste of Italy, this side of Rome.

Inside, you’ll feel an old school sense of the Mediterranean from the word go, with black and white pictures of years gone by and Italian-styled antiquities galore. Whatever the occasion, you’re catered for here. There are lowdown tables for larger groups, intimate settings for couples on date night, and high tables for a casual affair of pasta slurping and guzzling of vino.

Chef and owner Enzo Lotorzo is no doubt excited and proud to bring this genuine and taste-filled menu to Chevron Island. And by the looks of it, so he should!

It does however, come on the back of his beloved father Sam recently passing, so to do his memory proud, Enzo hopes to deliver outstanding food in every dish served. Saluti!

Bottega's Risotto Isola della scala (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Bottega's Risotto Isola della scala (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

The menu hinges on real Italy’s flavours – you won’t find any Americanised dishes and certainly no stuffed crust pizzas! Every menu item is stripped back to the bare minimum and made entirely in-house with quality ingredients and no cutting corners. Just the way nonna swears by! Be sure to bring the hungriest version of yourself when you decide to dine here, as like any good Italian restaurant, they have delicious Assaggini (entrees) and Primi (starters) for you to savour before even getting onto the mains.

Homemade Arancini balls with lighly crumbed silverbeet, spinach and parmesan (unlike any you’ve had before) alongside a selection of imported air-dried Salumi (all selected by Enzo himself) — which you won’t find at any supermarket deli — will no doubt start things off nicely.

Pasta is pasta, no? Wrong! For those of us who know the difference, be sure to try at least one of the dishes here as a starter — with all of the tastebud tingling flavours and hard-to-pronounce names! You’ll certainly be tempted by the Ravioli di carne – a specialty from Bologna, house made ravioli stuffed with veal, mortadella, sage and parmigiano, served with mushrooms and roasting juices… drool!

If Risotto is more your jam, the dedicated Risotteria section has you sorted. We are certainly in favour of Cicale di mare e ruchetta selvatica featuring (meat of the moment) Moreton Bay Bug meat with wild rocket, parmigiano and a touch of chilli.

We know it’s cliché, but as far as Mains go, we can never go past the 80’s ClassicMilk fed veal scallopini, oven baked with smoked ham, mushroom deuxelle and fontina cheese.

And don’t look past any of the pizzas here also, the wood-fired stone oven (made in Italy no less) is pride of place at the entrance to the venue, and the wafting smells are tantalising, to say the least.

Bottega's Seafood Bruschetta (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Bottega's Seafood Bruschetta (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

There is always a dessert person not so far away, and for you, you’ll be pleased to learn Bottega has undoubtedly not skipped the Dolce section off the menu. All of the classics are here (Tiramisu anyone?) and some lesser-known regional dishes (like Cannoli, but filled the Sicilian way, with sweetened fresh ricotta, glazed fruit and amarena cherries), which will catch your eye. Even if you say you’re full, make sure your waiter brings you a spoon — just in case!

The drinks selection sees Australian wines sit happily beside Italian styles giving you the option to drink closer to home or push the boat out and fully embrace the European experience. Let’s not forget a smattering of Italian cocktails with the addition of everyone’s favourite: Aperol Spritz. It would be rude not to!

Where: 58 Thomas Drive, Surfers Paradise
Hours: Weds-Sun: 5pm – 9pm (last orders)

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

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