Shrimp: Prik Khing
The best: BLT

La Bottega: Ridgewood, NJ [CLOSED]


Update (2014/10): La Bottega has rebranded. More info here (click me).

One of my 10s of readers recently initiated the following exchange:

Reader #18: went to La Bottega. Their Paninis are very good and they have gluten free bread thats decent

but from 11-2 on Sundays I couldnt get a roast pork, broccoli rabe and mozz one

had to be friggin brunch food

t:e: That sounds like a good sandwich. Any idea how their regular bread is?

Reader #18: Im sure its good. Some Brooklyn bakery every day

they have different kinds

t:e: I don't see pork on the menu. Wtf?

Reader #18: its under the paninis they have 8 different pork ones...

they're not chinsy with the portions either

t:e: Ugh. How did I miss that. Ok I need to try this joint for lunch.

The following day...

t:e: Holy cow this pork/mutz/rabe/pepper sandwich is fantastic!

Either I was really, really hungry, or, Reader #18 turned me on to something very, very tasty. Roasted pork, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, and grilled hot peppers, on a round roll, heated in a panini press. Very little bread, and a very well-balanced sandwich.  While I've been dismissing La Bottega for a while, I will concede that this is an exceptional sandwich.

I haven't been too sure of what to make about the place. Is it a sandwich/salad place? They sure do have a lot of that type of stuff on that enormous menu. Is this a place to consider for dinner? I wouldn't think so, but then I read that they have pretty damned good food. If you look closely at the menu, you'll see a proper appetizer/entree type menu tucked into the enormous sandwich/salad menu.

It's all a bit much to take in, so for now I'll just keep on hitting these pork panini.

La Bottega : 14 Oak Street : Ridgewood, NJ : 201.445.7222