Our Story

Humble beginnings as a cook in a local pizzeria in Johannesburg South saw a young Saverio’s first passion for food unfold at a mere 19 years old. A management role at that very Gino’s spawned opportunity as a manager at Nino’s and after a brief stint there, Saverio decided to further his love of the industry by attending Birnham College and becoming a professional chef.

Thereafter he made his way to the Big Apple, New York, where he spent two years working at a popular deli on Central Avenue and Deemaria’s Pizzeria (home of the 32-inch pie!) honing his skills and hunger for culinary knowledge.

There’s no place like home and Saverio came back to South Africa. Here Saverio fell in love with the place after being invited for espresso at G&Co (the current location of Bottega) by Jerry Thomas in 2001. He bought a 50% share in what was to become a Europa franchise, which was successfully run and extremely popular for about 5 years before the decision to disenfranchise was made and the dream that was Bottega was realized.

Bottega (or ‘Little Workshop’ in Italian) opened in June of 2006 and has fast grown in popularity ever since. Open from the early hours of the morning for superb breakfasts until the last person leaves after a meal from the ever-changing chalkboard dinner menu, Bottega enjoys a wealth of regulars from in and around the trendy Parkhurst area.

Since 2000, this culinary institution has built a loyal family of fans who savour its warm charm, intimate setting and wholesome, home-style cooking. Its’ reputation derives from its informal yet exceptional staff whose knowledge of the menu and all facets of the restaurant make for a refreshingly reassuring dining experience. Bottega’s unassuming yet luscious food speaks for itself and the highly interactive approach of management and indeed Saverio himself keep the regulars coming back for more.

The clientele frequenting Bottega is of a highly influential level both in the public eye as well as the business world and this, along with the passionate approach that Bottega brings to the restaurant industry, makes this eatery both trendy and the new ‘place-to-be-seen’. Owner Saverio Cardillo cultivates this heartfelt atmosphere daily. He’s always there, always hands-on, always welcoming, always sharing his love for life’s finer things. And for the past eight years, whisky has been one of these. For Saverio, whisky is about companionship. Its enjoyment is intensified by conversation, that personal touch, the opportunity to engage.

That’s why he’s been hosting bespoke whiskey tasting since 2013. Every week unveils a new distillery, paired with different dishes, with new gurus to guide you…and increasingly familiar faces in the room. Because that’s what he’s building up: a collective of whisky lovers. Not aficionados. Nothing exclusive. This is a whisky for everyone. For the experience. For that moment it hits the spot. For the education. For the memories. For the love of it.

Right here. On this site. Because Saverio has taken everything he’s learnt from his tastings and turned them into a digital dream for dram lovers. Here you’ll find your favourite expression, you’ll discover rare gems and soon you’ll have access to exclusive bottles. Ordering is easy with nationwide delivery and vouchers for those finicky friends. New stock is constantly coming in, as are some rather special collections. You see, Saverio is on a mission to demystify and democratise whisky. And luckily for you, he won’t rest until he achieves just that.