Chill on Bottega’s patio with handcrafted martinis.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Bottega Restaurant and Bottega Café each boast their own private, hedge-lined patio. Massive iron gates serve as entry to both. And in the spring yellow Lady Banks roses burst with color and aroma—draping the water fountain on the restaurant side. But no matter the season, when weather permits Bottega’s patio is the place to be.

Today we stop by for cocktails. The full bar makes handcrafted cocktails using only the freshest and finest ingredients, and their featured drinks appear on the menu. Yet we are also not limited to this tempting list. We order whatever our hearts desire, which are always one slightly sweet cocktail and one tart cocktail. Today’s sweet pick from the list is the Strawberry Fields. And my tart favorite here is the Pardis Margarita—not on the list—but discovered long ago and a favorite since. The drink is named for Pardis Stitt, wife of executive chef Frank Stitt, and co-owner of Bottega.

Two icy, stainless cocktail shakers arrive, glistening with condensation, along with two chilled martini glasses—sweetened strawberries at the bottom and one with a salty rim with a lime swirl for the margarita. As the luscious red concoction pours into one glass and the light green margarita fills its glass, we call it a day and toast being together—here in this time and place. And the shakers remain at the table keeping our next pour as cold and refreshing as the first. The Strawberry Fields is a luscious mix of strawberry infused vodka, vanilla bean and lemonade. The divine Pardis Margarita is a synthesis of the fun and flavors of a margarita and the style of a martini.

Published, B-Metro, June 2012

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