Pindarou 14, Nicosia (LEFKOSIA), 22777270
Stylish yet cosy, traditional yet modern, casual yet great for a night out, that’s Bottega Amaro for you. I can’t say I wasn’t happy when I heard it was Italian as we could really use a good one (and not just in Nicosia). The truth is it’s actually international with an Italian touch, or rather international with a few proper, traditional Italian dishes.
The space itself is not that big but enough for it to have a buzz. The look and vibe has a retro feel where the Cyprus style 70’s cold marble meets French bistro (although not French). I particularly liked the round bar which, forms a question mark, (no, I did not notice it myself but was told that was its shape) and the fact that it has high and low tables as well, making it appropriate for a drink with nibbles and lunch/dinner too. Although I generally prefer it when a place is more “specialised” rather than the all-day multi functional type restaurant I must admit so far the “all-day” has worked well. I have tried it for lunch, dinner and drinks and Bottega Amaro has managed to hold its own.
The menu is not long but contains enough to keep you interested on more than one visit. The Beef Tartare, although due to my pregnancy I couldn’t try it everyone seems to agree that it was of high quality and flavour (though I wouldn’t mind a raw egg on top). The Fried Zucchini sticks have very much improved over the last month to become crispy, salty and great as a nibble while the salad with parmesan, lettuce and avocado was very well prepared and a must-try. Nothing to the balsamic drowned sweet salads we are used to (and would like to forget).
I was reluctant to try to the Truffle Pizza as it sounded creamy but it ended up being one of my favourite dishes on the menu, while the Diavola was not far behind with a thin crispy crust, a light yet flavourful cheesy layer and yummy spicy pepperoni. The “Milanese“, a dish that both Mr Proud Cypriot and I love was well cooked with a salty and crispy crust.Out of the steaks I preferred the Chateaubriand to the Ribeye (another must-try) while my least favourite dish was (surprisingly) the burger. Although presented beautifully at the right thickness, with a perfect brioche and fries I thought the meat itself was too “meaty” if you know what I mean.
I will not go on about the desserts but I will say this: try the Chocolate Creme Brûlée and the Tiramisu. Get them both and don’t ask questions. Just indulge.
We paid from 40-60€ each but realistically you should expect to pay close to 40€ with reasonable amount of wine, starters and desserts. We always over-order and over drink.
All in all I am extremely happy with this new arrival, I do hope food remains at these standards and I am glad to have a casual, stylish buzzing place for every day and night.