About this business
From Our Editors
When Giuseppe and Marisa Ruta first met and fell in love in Ispica, Italy, they were only 16. Nevertheless, they got married a few years later, which led to travels throughout Europe, sampling of exotic food, and, soon, a relocation to the United States. As Giuseppe worked his way up the restaurant industry ladder, he and Marisa dreamed of one day opening a little Italian store and restaurant where they could savor the pair's favorite Italian dish of all—the humble panini. In 2003, that dream came true when they opened La Bottega, Italian for "the store." Ten years and more than 20 additional locations later, the couple has spread their love of Italian flavors far and wide. Though many of the locations feature their own spin on the original dishes, they all honor the Ruta's first love by offering more than 60 varieties of panini, each toasted and stuffed with gourmet ingredients such as prosciutto di parma, black-angus steak, and marinated Italian tuna. Like a sentient robot crossing guard, the eateries go beyond their handheld specialization by featuring a slate of full entrees, pasta dishes, desserts, and imported wine.