On 10 December in Bologna, in Via de' Toschi 2/g, Velluto Botanique Eclectique opened its doors, a multipurpose room open from 9 am to 6 pm - in the yellow zone and, when possible, until 2 am - born from the mind of Enrico Scarzella, previously bar manager of the 12-seat boutique cocktail bar Bizarre, and the two partners Matteo Dondi and Federico Parisini. “I have always had the dream of opening a place in this place. One day a dear friend of my brother-in-law, the one who would become one of my two partners, Federico, asked me if I wanted it and I, sight unseen, told him yes."
The choice of name Botanique Eclectique velvet can be traced back to three aspects: velvet is a precious fabric - as are the products that can be found here - and youthful, like the customers, botanical due to the strong presence of green - from the bathroom to the corners of the rooms - and eclectique due to the versatility of the venue, which changes throughout the day. During the day it is illuminated by natural light, in the evening by neon lights and spotlights that illuminate the plants, in different colors from time to time. The offer is also eclectic, capable of satisfying four different times of the day: international breakfast from 9am to 12pm, with classic morning leavened products, milk rolls and avocado toast, lunch with Tasty Poke options from 12pm to 3pm, classic, vegan and special, and aperitif with tapas and cocktails from 3pm to 6pm When time restrictions are eliminated, the idea will be to serve snacks until 6pm, with tea, herbal teas, chocolate and dry pastries, and to postpone cocktails and tapas from 6pm to 2am. In the meantime, the place has been activated with thetake away, of the entire menu, every day from 9am to 6pm.
The cocktail team is the same as Bizarre, led by partner and bar manager Enrico Scarzella, who here has the different task of satisfying a larger clientele - at full capacity there are 60 seats inside organized on two floors and 30 outside - always maintaining high quality. “We relied on the wisdom of our dear friend and renowned interior designer Andres Avanzi and Simona Fazzi, owner of Le Petit Palais, for the furnishings”, who also thought of setting up a space dedicated to the purchase of products - dishes , glasses, lamps, wallpaper – also under the Velluto Botanique Eclectique brand. The mixing philosophy follows the same concepts explored so far by Scarzella: zero plastic, minimum waste and maximum yield with the ingredients available, also for what concerns tapas. “As I have always done, I will try to reuse the raw materials in all their components. For example, I use the peels of the oranges used for the morning juices to create cocktail decorations."
The cocktail menu, which will change every 6 months, is made up of three sections: one dedicated to Gin Tonic, with around forty choices for the distillate and the relative recommended tonic paired with each, 12 seasonal cocktails – great classics such as the Bloody Mary, the Milano Torino and the Daiquiri – and signature drinks. Among the latter, there are twelve cocktails that reflect Scarzella's philosophy - from Velluto with Punt & Mes, house bitters, rhubarb velvet and absinthe decoction to Giallo di sera... with Beluga Noble vanilla, cordial mango & passion fruit , Bolè (sparkling wine from Trebbiano grapes) – and three non-alcoholic proposals made with as many Seedlip products, a range of non-alcoholic distillates used in contemporary blending, obtained after 2 years of study and 6 months of production. An example of a cocktail? The Grove with Seedlip Grove 42, botanical mix, soda flavored with pear scraps/bitter orange peels/jasmine/black pepper.
Another distinctive point of the menu is the exclusive Italian imprint in the choice of wines, brandies and bitters while, as regards spirits, Velluto wants to set itself up as a hub for tasting fine spirits. Precisely in this sense, all the individual references of the paper are explained, complete with alcohol content, origin and pairing. There is a section dedicated to vodka, with Russian, French and Dutch proposals, one to rums, with around twenty labels that can be tasted pure or mixed, one to vermouth, which also includes German choices, one to tequila and mezcal, and finally, one for rums, with over 30 choices, also in this case for tasting or drinking.