Beloved Charleston restaurateur Massimiliano Sarrocchi has returned to his roots, opening an Italian-style osteria in a small space on King Street, next door to Blue Bicycle Books. Sarrocchi sold his last restaurant Pane e Vino in Jan. of 2010 before embarking on this latest venture.
According to Sarrocchi, an osteria is an establishment where the emphasis is placed on maintaining a steady clientele rather than on haute cuisine. It literally means a bar and restaurant where the owner "hosts" people.
"It's basically a place to go for drinks and some food," he says.
Osteria la Bottiglia opened last week after an extensive renovation of a former hair salon. Sarrocchi says he started on the project last summer. Initially, they were only serving lunch, but now that all of the proper liquor licenses are in place, they're also open for dinner.
Sarrocchi says the idea is to feature a small menu of appetizers, housemade pastas, and fresh salads for dinner, with soup-sandwich-salad fare at lunch. Expect items like bruschetta, caprese salad, and Italian cheese plates. The osteria also has a full bar and a carefully selected wine list.
So far, the buzz has been good, but he says he has had one complaint: one woman said it was too dark. "It's a bar," Sarrocchi scoffs, "it's supposed to be dark."
They are open open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and closed on Sundays.