a yellow and black photo of a restaurant.

Local Spotlight: Bottega Italia

In Old Town Temecula, you’ll find a variety of different restaurants; mostly serving American food with just a few Mexican and Mediterranean joints scattered in the mix. And then, in the very heart of it all, you’ll find Bottega Italia — an upscale, yet inviting, Italian food spot that is guaranteed to absolutely blow your mind… and taste buds. 


Bottega Italia exudes authenticity from the moment you sit down and order a Spaghetti Alla Scoglio entrée and a Milano Torino to perfectly complement the meal. However, there’s more than what meets the eye at Bottega Italia. Rooted in family recipes and a first-generation tie to Italy, Bottega Italia is a European gem in the middle of American wine country. 


If you haven’t already, you must pay Bottega Italia a visit, but before you go, keep reading for an inside look at what makes this Temecula Italian restaurant so special. 



A Little Background


Bottega Italia wasn’t born overnight. Years of restaurant experience, generations of family recipes, and a young Italian brave enough to move from Italy to the U.S. to chase the American Dream have all been key pillars contributing to the success of Bottega Italia. 


But let’s start from the beginning. 


After graduating from high school, Alessandro “Alex” opened a family restaurant, known as Lo Sperone, with his father in their hometown of Piazza Armerina, Sicily, Italy. During this time, Alex managed both the restaurant, a pizzeria, and an equestrian center; in other words, Alex was booked and busy. But in 1997, Alex was ready to leave it all in pursuit of the American Dream; so, like many other Europeans before him, Alex left Italy for California with dreams to open his own restaurant in the land of opportunity. 


It’s no secret that big international moves pose their own unique set of challenges. For Alex, who didn’t speak a word of English, the move was especially difficult. He began his first job at a restaurant in Newport Beach, bussing tables and mopping floors. While Alex was appreciative of the opportunity given to him, he longed for something more; something fulfilling, and something he could call his own. Driven by passion and perseverance, Alex was determined to learn the English language, and one day, just maybe, open his own Italian restaurant in the corner of America that he came to know and love. 


In just four years, Alex accomplished his American dream; Gourmet Italia opened its doors in October of 1999, and Temecula got a taste of Alex’s family recipes and multiple other popular Italian dishes. Gourmet Italia quickly earned a reputation for having incredible food, attentive service, and a passionate owner determined to infuse his hometown Italian roots into the local community. The restaurant’s success was beyond Alex’s wildest imagination, and when presented with the opportunity to open another restaurant in Old Town Temecula, Bottega Italia was born. 


Go-To Menu Items



Inspired by the idea of simple and honest cooking, Bottega Italia boasts a menu of Italian dishes that are unmistakably authentic. A few bites of anything on the menu at Bottega Italia is sure to transport you to the streets of Sicily; however, their hand-tossed wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and homemade gelato are among the standout stars. 


But we get it, sometimes that pasta craving hits and you simply won’t settle for anything else; luckily, Bottega Italia has you covered with al dente pasta bathed in mouthwatering sauces. You simply can’t go wrong with their Pennoni di Gragnano al Pomodoro Fresco e Basilico or the Spaghetti alla Scoglio if you’re in the mood for seafood. 


If you’d like to stay on the lighter side, Bottega Italia’s La Rosa Verde is an expertly crafted salad featuring thin-sliced pears, gorgonzola cheese, and pancetta crumbles. 


If you’ve saved room for dessert, which you most definitely should, gelato is always an excellent option (as mentioned above); however, their Sicilian-influenced spumoni cake or cannolis are dripping in decadence. 



Bottega Italia Gives Back


Bottega Italia is a family-owned business with four other locations located in Temecula: Gourmet Italia, Spuntino Pizzeria, The Bar Next Door, and Poggio Leano Winery & Vineyards. With such deep ties to the community, Bottega Italia has always taken it upon themselves to support their community and donate to local charities. 


Their restaurants participate in wine events and competitions throughout California with their Poggio Leano wines. Additionally, their winery hosts several events tied to their Wine Club throughout the year; Dinner in the Vines, Bunco Night, Five-Course Dinners at Gourmet Italia, and holiday events — just to name a few. 


What To Do In Temecula, CA.


When asked about local must-sees for those visiting Temecula, Bottega Italia recommends shopping around Old Town Temecula, watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon (adding this to the bucket list ASAP), and, of course, indulging in Temecula’s greatest pastime — wine tasting! 


Oh, and of course check out their other restaurants mentioned above. 


Bottega Italia is a Temecula staple that brings Italy to you. If you haven’t already, be sure to pay a much-needed visit to their Old Town Temecula location before placing a weed delivery order over at hyperwolf.com