Farmer’s Bottega features local artisan ingredients and organic produce in New American and Italian dishes. Italian-born chef and owner Alberto Morale, co-owner of the Fig Tree Cafe, opened the Mission Hills restaurant less than two years ago. We loved working with San Diego Restaurant Week last January. SDRW reached out again to tell me this month’s theme is local produce and we were happy to accept an invitation to preview Farmer’s Bottega.
The Oxtail Ravioli with cherry tomatoes, caramelized onions and herbed goat cheese immediately called out to me. The sauce was flavorful, rich with umami and balanced with the fresh green taste of the dandelion shoot garnish. The housemade pasta had the perfect aldente bite.
Our whole silly family found the staff friendly and hospitable. The hostess offered each girl full sized coloring books and a small tupperware of crayons, which kept them content during ordering. We also enjoyed exploring the back patio and garden space.
Total comfort food
The Housemade Meatballs were something special. The starter is presented oh so cozy in a small cast iron pan, and topped table-side by copious parmesan. The meatballs are cooked in a rich and spicy tomato sauce with fresh herbs. We requested an extra round of the Bread and Cie toast to sop up the last bits.
Featuring fresh and unique produce
Our waiter, Matthew, was very personable. He steered us towards the Seasonal Melon Salad. This week’s salad featured super sweet yellow watermelon, feta, wild arugula, and spicy caramelized pecans. The lemon vinaigrette was light and overall the salad was a refreshing balance to our other meat-heavy choices. In addition to buying direct from local farms, Specialty Produce supplies their fresh vegetables and fruits, sourced from San Diego growers.
Farmer’s Bottega is decorated in a comfortable “farmhouse” style, perfect for either date night or family. Oversized glass containers hold pickles and preserved lemons. How sweet would a date be under this wall of crate boxes?
Top Quality Meats
The herb-rubbed Buffalo Filet was also excellent, served with garlic mashed potatoes, swiss chard, asparagus, crispy onions, roasted Maui thyme and a petite Syrah reduction. The filet was cooked a perfect medium rare, and super tender. Unfortunately, I was not fast enough around my family to snag any of the asparagus and barely grabbed a corner of the crispy onions. I wished for more!
You have to eat dessert during restaurant week!
We finished our meal with a New York Cheesecake with fresh berries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
After such inventive and satisfying starters and mains, the desserts were unflawed but not as memorable.
All in all, considering there wasn’t a drop left on the plates, they couldn’t have been that bad.
At one point I looked over at my three-year-old and she was doing a combination shovel/inhale on the Molten Chocolate Cake.
Tips for Farmer’s Bottega
- We only ordered items we were told would be on the Restaurant Week menu. However, since Farmer’s Bottega features seasonal produce and locally sourced seafood, artisan meats, cheese and breads, selections may vary.
- Our waiter let us know that they would offer the $40 SDRW menu not just the one week, Sunday, September 25th through Sunday, October 2nd, but would extend for a second week, too.
- Reservations recommended: (619) 458-9929.
- If you miss SDRW altogether, they offer a pre-fixed date night menu on Wednesday nights, and happy hour all night Tuesday at the bar. The TV’s at the bar were playing the Food Network. My kind of place!!
- If you go, please tell them Baby Birds Farm sent you!
- As mentioned, our food was offered free of charge. Opinions and photos are mine.
860 West Washington Street
San Diego, CA 92103
Sunday – Thursday
8 AM–3 PM | 4:30 PM–10 PM
Friday – Saturday
8 AM–3 PM | 4 PM–10:30 PM