Michelangelo Ristorante Italiano, an Oro Valley staple for almost three decades, recently renovated their restaurant space, rebranded, and reopened as Bottega Michelangelo.
This isn't the family restaurant's first evolution — in 1975, it started out as Damiano's in Tucson on Stone Avenue. In 1986, Damiano's successor Michelangelo’s opened at North Oracle and West Rudasill roads. In 1989, it moved to the larger space in Oro Valley.
Now as Bottega Michelangelo, the white tablecloths are gone. Warm woods are accented by shades of navy blue and sapphire blue for a sleek and comfortable environment.
"It used to be thought that we were more of a fine dining destination restaurant," said Giuseppe "Gio" Ali, owner of Bottega Michelangelo. "We're going for more of a casual feel. More geared towards everyone of all ages. More Italy to table with ingredients directly from Italy."
The culinary shift includes a focus on southern Italian cuisine with more red sauces, spicier dishes, and less cream sauces.
Additionally, the space also functions as a pasticceria, or an Italian pastry shop. "All our desserts are made in house from our Italian pastry chef, displayed in the case when you walk in," Ali said.
A new wood-fired pizza oven is also immediately visible upon entrance. Neapolitan pizzas range from $9 to $14, pastas range from $12 to $22, and main entrees range from $17 to $28.
Happy hour is available 4 - 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday with half-off appetizers, draft beers, well drinks, and select wines. Sundays through December feature brunch from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Bottega Michelangelo is located at 420 W. Magee Rd. For more information, call (520) 297-5775 or visit bottegamichelangelo.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran's Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...