Two young adults at the age of 16 met in Ispica Italy. An attraction sparked and as the years went on their love grew for each other and for food. Upon getting married the newlyweds traveled around Europe,as Giuseppe gained experience in the restaurant industry, and then landed in Long Island New York in 1993.
In Long Island, Giuseppe began as a busboy and worked his way into a management position a year later. With his talent and experience he ventured to Manhattan where he worked at the best restaurants, alongside some of the best Italian restaurateurs in the city.
Both lovers of traditional Italian cuisine, their dream was to create a store where customers would come and shop for specialty items and enjoy their most cherished Italian food… Panini! La Bottega, which means “the store” in Italian, was born from that dream in March of 2003.
Giuseppe, with more then 20 years of experience in restaurants worldwide, decided to hire (with no pay) the best chef in his book, his wife Marisa. Learning to cook from her mother Concetta, Marisa acquired a flair for classic Sicilian cuisine. Marisa already a busy mother of three, loved the idea of working an extra 12 hours a day so much that she soon became a full time La Bottega employee.
Today La Bottega offers a menu of over 60 Panini, 25 Salads, weekly changing menu of Italian inspired dishes and “Dinner in the box”, which is perfect for customers on-the-go.
Giuseppe, a wine enthusiast, has created an always evolving menu featuring a wide selection of imported wines from around the world. What was once known as the Italian Gourmet “store” is now a fun-cozy-romantic Italian Trattoria, with a warm welcoming atmosphere in which our guests feel “at home”.
Giuseppe and Marisa Ruta have made their American dream a reality. They have since continued to surpass their goals with La Bottega restaurants spreading across Long Island. It brings much joy to Giuseppe and Marisa to see customers and franchisees getting excited at the opening of each new location. With your continued support and appreciation, we look forward to the success and growth of the La Bottega Gourmet family.