The Brown Bottle has been in the same downtown location within the historic Russell Lamson Building since 1974.
Noteworthy starters include tasty sauteed mushrooms and a cheese-topped tomato bruschetta (both $7.95). Although steaks and seafood do appear on the menu, the pasta dishes reign—namely manicotti, ziti and four kinds of lasagna. In addition, diners can customize orders of spaghetti or fettuccine with their choice of sauce and add on meatballs, chicken, shrimp or salsiccia (seasoned sausage links). Homemade dressings adorn the salads, and a side of spaghetti accompanies some entrees. For fans of fish, the Parmesan-crusted orange roughy in a garlicky butter sauce ($16.95) is a solid bet. Thoughtfully, The Brown Bottle also offers a gluten-free menu.
Everything arrives hot and well seasoned, and portion sizes are plenty big enough to share. For dessert, the tiramisu is worth saving a little room. By way of drinks, diners can choose from 20 reasonably priced wines by the glass, as well as a small variety of craft beers, including Millstream from Iowa’s Amana Colonies.