Bottega Dei Sapori has been a huge part of the Alton High Street for many years.
The Italian coffee shop built up a fantastic reputation with many loyal customers who were devastated to see the doors close in late 2022.
However, Gentian Nela answered the town’s prayers and re-opened as Cucina Dei Sapori a few weeks later offering authentic Italian cuisine not only by day but evenings too!
Could they live up to the standard set by Bottega? We had to find out…
Gentian has managed to modernise the decor and improve the layout while still keeping the best of the cafe’s original feature.
With warm colours, modern brick and cork backdrops, fireplaces and candles, the restaurant could not be more welcoming on a cold winter evening.
The logs in the fire may not be lit but the abundance of wine bottles sitting in these and many other areas in the restaurant offers a very clever and stylish addition to the inviting ambience.
A more than modest selection of predominantly Italian wines are on offer alongside many cocktails, liqueurs, spirits, beers and soft drinks catering for everyone.
We opted to share the Antipasto Vegetariano to start which offered lightly-grilled marinated peppers, aubergine and courgettes with salty buffalo mozzarella cheese and olives and crusty home-made bread drizzled in olive oil. A light and tasty start to the meal that gave us high expectations for what was to come.
For mains we enjoyed the Pollo Ai Funghi, pan-fried, moist chicken breast, with tangy parmesan cheese and a rich, creamy mushroom sauce served with perfectly-seasoned rosemary new potatoes and the Branzino Al Forno, oven-baked seabass.
The delicious, flaky fish came with new potatoes and cherry tomatoes and was presented in the tin foil parcel that it was baked in with the lemon, thyme, garlic, caper and butter.
A beautiful way to infuse the fish with these delicious flavours and to create a mouth-watering aroma.
For dessert it had to be tiramisu and a strong espresso – but only to share!
The generous portion of creamy mascarpone and savoiardi biscuits soaked in coffee were a marriage made in heaven finished with rich cocoa powder.
The restaurant was buzzing all evening with a mixture of families, couples and groups of friends soaking in the authentic Italian experience with great food, music, attentive service and quite a few cocktails.
It is safe to say that the residents of Alton can relax.
Cucina Dei Sapori is the new Italian of Alton!
Review by Alex Woodbee
WIN A MEAL FOR TWO AND A BOTTLE OF HOUSE WINE AT BOTTEGA DEI SAPORI
We have teamed up with Gentian Nela and the Cucina Dei Sapori to offer a lucky reader the chance to win a meal for two at the beautiful Italian restaurant. Gentian will also include a bottle of house wine to help the evening go with a swing. To be in with a chance of winning, simply email [email protected] with your name and phone number, including 'Bottega competition' in the subject line, and after the closing date of midday on Thursday, March 16, 2023, the sender of the first coupon pulled out of the hat will win the delightful night out. Entrants must be aged over 18.