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Bottega Restaurant Restaurant Review: On historic Highland Avenue sits one of Birmingham’s favorite places to relax with food and drink. A heavy black iron gate guides the way in front of soaring arched windows at the circa-1926 Bottega Favorita building that houses both Bottega Restaurant and Bottega Café. Turn left and enter the elegant wood-paneled interior of Bottega Restaurant, with its softly lit sconces and a chandelier. Owner-chef Frank Stitt opened the restaurant after travels to Italy inspired the desire to explore Mediterranean cuisine without changing the French focus at his other restaurant, Highlands Bar & Grill. The fritto misto is crisp with shrimp, calamari and snapper to dip in a spicy aïoli. Or start with the Parmesan soufflé, light and ethereal. For an entrée, we might choose the veal chop Milanese with wild mushrooms and sweet corn polenta with summer truffles or the grilled wahoo seated on orzo with apricots, Marcona almonds, roasted local peppers and olives. The wine list draws from Italy, Spain, Argentina, Austria, France and California. Don’t leave without trying one of longtime pastry chef Dolester Miles’ desserts, perhaps a peach tart with pistachio frangipane, almonds and apricot glaze. Or lick a spoon loaded with scuppernong or blueberry sorbet.