With a name that combines two trendy keywords in our current food vernacular, Farmer's Bottega is a new farm-to-table eatery that debuted today at 860 West Washington Street, where it replaces Olivetto Ristorante.
Owner and executive chef Alberto Morreale, who also co-owns the Fig Tree Café locations in Liberty Station and Hillcrest, has redone the restaurant completely, using a wall of wooden produce boxes and hanging Edison bulbs to create a modern farmhouse setting. The eatery already had a spacious back patio, but Morreale has also turned an previously unused side space into more outdoor seating.
Originally from Palermo, Morreale arrived in San Diego in 1995 after attending culinary school in Milan and working throughout Italy; locally, he's cooked at Osteria Panevino, Osetra The Fishhouse, Greystone Steakhouse and La Foccacia Gourmet Pizza and Exotic Salads in Hillcrest.
His menu for Farmer's Bottega is a mix of New American and Italian, encompassing breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In the morning, there are omelets, egg Benedicts served on housemade focaccia, French toast and pancakes while lunches bring salads made with local produce, sandwiches and flatbread. For dinner, starters range from burrata with roasted cherry tomatoes and artichoke to bruschetta, and jars filled with Fresno chile hummus or eggplant caponata. A meat and cheese board is sourced locally, with cheese from neighbor Venissimo Cheese and The Meat Men's salumi. Entrees include roast chicken with fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts and gnocchi in duck ragout.