I have been going to Belotti every few months almost since it opened. I have gone with friends, with family, and with both. By now, I have tried many of their dishes. I do love their food. It is hard to try new things there when there are dishes you adore and don’t want to miss having again. The vast majority of visits have been great. My most recent visit was not my best.
It is hard for me to resist the Battuta, their version of beef tartare. There are not many restaurants in the area that I know of that have tartare on their menu. I have eaten it at The Wolf, at Michel’s Bistro, and had a Korean version at Bowl’d. Of these four, I like the version at Belotti the best. I also liked the version that they used to serve at Michel’s Bistro two or more years ago, but that restaurant had a change of ownership, and is closing soon, and will then reopen under a new format. When they had a tuna tartare at Belotti, that was also an excellent presentation, but it has not been on the menu the last few times I have eaten there.
I typically then move on to a pasta offering, and forego the main courses. The casoncelli is a wonderful dish. The agnolotti di Lidia is quite tasty, but I like the casoncelli even more. I have also enjoyed the gnocchi alla Bolognese; the gnocchi are light and airy, and the sauce is richly flavored, but the dish would be even nicer dish if there were a little more contrast in texture. I have had the tagliatelle with a wild boar sauce; it was flavorful, but that particular day the sauce had several pieces of gristle in it, and I have not tried the dish again. During this most recent visit I had the tortelli with polenta stuffing and a rabbit-based pasta sauce. It was wonderful. Everyone has his or her own taste preferences, but it would be hard to go wrong with the casoncelli or tortelli. It’s even better if you are there with a spouse or close friend and are willing to share. It’s a great place for pasta. If you are going to eat a main course, there are four choices, and if you are going with picky eaters, you might want to check out the menu before committing. I happen to like duck, flat iron steaks, and suckling pig, and I would eat snapper in a pinch, but if you are hosting a vegetarian or vegan diner, then the choices become quite limited.
If I have any advice, it would be to consider bringing your own wine and paying the corkage. There is an extensive wine list, You will find very little if anything that is under $10 a glass, and the bottled wines are generally quite expensive. On my most recent visit I was there for lunch. I asked for a bottle of Amarone. I was informed that they were out of it. The waiter had been pushing a particular red wine from the Veneto region. I should have ordered a Barolo or Barbaresco or a Brunello, but he was quite insistent that this was the best wine on the wine list. It was fine, but for over $90, I expect more than fine. The person I was with photographed the bottle, looked it up. and retail was close to $30. Not a surprising markup in today’s restaurant scene. I also noted that three other tables had been “sold” the same wine. They were clearly pushing this wine aggressively. I have been there before and ordered multiple bottles of wine to share with friends. I don’t mind spending money on food and wine. I just did not appreciate the hard sell. This will not stop me from going there again. I do love the food. However, the next time I go, I will bring a bottle from my cellar. I will have a very good sense of what the wine will taste like, and even adding the $20 corkage to the cost of the bottle, I will have a better value.
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