“Bottega Louie seems trucked in from another city. In the evening its panoramic windows glowing at the base of the gorgeous Brockman Building make it look like a trophy of East Coast or Midwestern urban revitalization; the place could be inside the Loop rather than at 7th and Grand...Open from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. seven days a week, Bottega Louie is a vast operation. There’s something joyfully democratic about it, with people in thin arty glasses alongside office workers taking a break from another lunch at the Yorkshire Grill. Yet the precision with which Marvin and his longtime executive chef, Christopher Goossen, imbue the offerings is remarkable. The soups are vital and nurturing. The pasta fagiole, the classic bean and pasta soup, is rich with cooked beans and pasta, which makes it dense and soulful. The chicken brodo is a golden broth full of vegetables and flavor. When he goes old school, Marvin is self-assured. The chopped salad is a thing of beauty, with garbanzos, black olives, pepperoncini, and pepperoni in a sharp red wine vinaigrette. The clams oreganata are steamed to order, then covered with a mix of chopped herbs and bread crumbs moistened with cooking broth and olive oil so that they are yielding and soft when browned under the salamander.

Given that the restaurant regularly serves a thousand customers a day, steaming and breading clams to order indicates an impressive level of detail. Both the side of green beans and the antipasto of white beans and shaved onion have the bright notes of something just made.”

Read the rest of the July 2009 LA Magazine review here