Chef Carlo is back in South Orange. Original chef at the much-beloved Cafe Arugula, Chef-Owner Carlo Carbonaro has opened Bottagra South on South Orange Avenue. Bottagra South, says Carbonaro, is a nod modern Mediterranean fare -- with brick-oven pizza and their signature gelati besides.
Bottarga or botargo, from which the restaurant takes its name, is a traditional Sardinian delicacy of seasoned sun-dried tuna. Bottagra, says Carbonaro, "looks to tradition" but with updates. One of the most popular of the rustic pizzas, for example, is called "007." While its name hints at James Bond, the pizza is named for its seven ingredients.
"We're thrilled to be back in South Orange," says Carbonaro. The dining room of the former Cafe Arugular has undergone a facelift, and the colors are what patron Lily Jacobs called "warm, sunny, Italian." The restaurant displays streetscapes of long-ago South Orange. (Gruning's is visible over Carbonaro's shoulder in the photo.)
Open for lunch and dinner, Carbonaro says that the brick-oven pizzas have been very popular. A shrimp fra diavolo pizza is a "surprise delight" says Jacobs.
Bottagra South is Carbonaro's second restaurant. The Zagat-rated Bottagra is located in Hawthorne.
Bottagra South is located at:
59 S Orange Ave.
South Orange, NJ 07079
Monday - Thursday 11 am - 10 pm
Friday & Saturday 11 am - 10:30pm
Sunday 4 pm - 9 pm