Restaurant review: Bottega, Beijing, China

Run by the Salvo brothers, Daniele and Paulo, Bottega (located inside Sanlitun’s trendy grecian white Nail Patio) serves addictive, Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizzas: they have a thick, chewy rim and slender base, are light on toppings but bursting with flavour from fresh, carefully-sourced ingredients. Awarded The Beijinger magazine’s prestigious Pizza Cup in 2016, the restaurant truly deserves its title as one of the city’s best pizzerie. 

Bottega’s muted lighting, stone floors, quirky collaged walls and vintage moss-green and copper seating provide a refreshing alternative for a romantic date venue, with a superb wine and cocktails list to boot. 

The kitchen adds its own style to traditional Italian fare, while peppering the menu with several unique creations. Start you meal with true Italian elegance: break open a refreshing, creamy pouch of bufala mozzarella D.O.P (RMB80) which comes perched on a bed of peppery rocket. Pair this with wood-grilled casareccio bread topped with scarlet cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, oregano, basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (bruschetta paesana; RMB42) and a platter of fine charcuterie. 

Glimmering golden spheres of arancini rustici (RMB42), stuffed with spinach and Parmesan risotto and served with a rich tomato sauce, rival the best of those eaten by late-night nibblers in Rome. Or for something more exciting, try to frittatina di maccherini (RMB45), breaded and deep-fried globes of spaghetti bolognese regu and silky béchamel. 

Bottega’s carpaccio di manzo Wagyu (RMB128) is a fine example of this classic and elegant dish. It features imported Chilean Wagyu beef sliced so tissue-thin it melts in the mouth, crunchy sea salt nibs, ribbons of sharp Parmesan, sticky-sweet balsamic vinegar, tangy herb remoulade and extra-virgin olive oil. 

While the main attraction is pizza, the pasta dishes are not to be overlooked. The vegetarian ravioli (RMB78) are luminous with thick, fragrant, house-made pesto, plump with an aubergine, courgette and carrot filling. The dish is finished with toast pine nut pearls for crunch and Parmesan gratings to add a touch of tongue-tingling saltiness. 

Pizzas are a feast for one, or enough to share. The varied selection includes smokey artichoke with peppery salami (carciofina RMB108), meaty mushroom with Italian pork sausage (contadina RMB108), a simple marianara scattered with briny anchovies on a rich tomato base (RMB70), gentle heat from salami and chilli on the diavola (RMB88) and an incredible four cheese using the finest mozzarella, ricotta, piquant gorgonzola and melty asagio dolce (RMB98).

A relaxing, casual atmosphere, great Italian food and proximity to some of the city’s best bars and nightlife – Bottega is a gem of a restaurant. 

Bottega (Nali Patio location)

2/F Nali Patio 81,

Sanlitun Road,

Chaoyang District Beijing

北京朝阳区三里屯路81号那里花园2/F

T: +86 6416 1752

www.bottegacn.com/Sanlitun/

Open 12:00-00:00 daily

No reservations at this location.