Yes, the new La Botte Ristorante — located in the space that once held Uno Pizzeria and Grill — serves Italian fare, but don’t expect any dish ending with parm, marsala, alfredo, or scampi. There’s a whole other world of Italian food, one that’s closer to what’s eaten in Rome or Florence or Naples, and these are the culinary traditions La Botte follows.
A Pavesi oven at 750°F pumps out seven different pies.
“There are 100 places to get chicken parm and veal marsala in Westchester so why do I want to be 101?” says co-owner Nino Rata of Yonkers. Rata and partner Jimmy Hysaj opened the 120-seat La Botte in December 2019. “I will make those dishes if a customer asks. But I won’t put it on the menu.”
Berkshire pork chop, pickled onions, escarole, cannellini
So instead of clams casino, garlic bread, and fried zucchini starters, expect roasted cauliflower with raisins, pignoli, and pecorino Romano; breaded sardines with oregano, tomato salad, and charred lemon; and burrata with sage-scented apple, pistachios, and prosciutto di Parma.
Golden Brussels sprouts, Parmigiano, cayenne, almonds, parsley
Mains include lots of fish (grilled sea bass, clams, cannellini beans, parsley purée; sea bream, squash purée, green vegetable, caperberry butter) and daily-made pasta dishes (gnocchi with Gorgonzola dolce, spinach, parmigiano Reggiano shavings; agnolotti with mushrooms, ricotta, truffle, parsley) plus seven wood-fired pizzas from a Pavesi pizza oven crafted using Caputo 00 flour, fresh yeast, and sea salt. The bistecchina di maiale or Berkshire pork chop with pickled onions, escarole, and cannellini, is a winning juicy wonder.
Linguine pomodoro is made with San Marzano tomatoes.
Nino has 30 years restaurant industry experience in Manhattan; however his prior venture to La Botte was owning Ristorante Mulino in Southlake, Texas. “They heard I was from New York and embraced me right away,” says Rata. “A common complaint was the pasta was too hard.”
The Southlake area demographic doesn’t have many folks of Italian heritage as in Westchester, so opening here presented a challenge according to Rata. “People here know good Italian food, so I have to be on top of my game.”
SauteÌed prawns, garlic, saffron potatoes
Helping Rata to that end is Chef Alex Diaz, previously at Terrelli’s and Chef Luc in NYC, who sources fresh ingredients from such local purveyors as Satur Farms, London Meat Co., and Vrola Meats and updates the menu seasonally.
Semifreddo with pistachio, blood orange, wild berries, fresh cream, chocolate sauce
The smart, citified interior design of whites, grays, and browns was completed by architect Edward G. Swaby, interior designer Artan Asllani and partner Jim Lepenica. “This is a vibrant city with lots of new construction,” says Rata. “I wanted a décor to match.”
Pastry baked apple, cinnamon, orange zest, vanilla ice cream
Note: La Botte has its own parking, unlike many restaurants in the city, in a garage it shares with the Seasons Condominiums next door, plus a Japanese garden in the rear with a koi pond.
14 Martine Ave
Curious for more insight into everything from weddings and local business happenings to golf and hearty Westchester eating? Surf through all of our daily blogs.