Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dine L.A.: Bettolino Kitchen (Redondo Beach, CA)

Somehow, I was notified that AmEx had a $5 off offer for Dine L.A. restaurant week, so on a whim I checked out the website and realized there were some intriguing menus at restaurants in my area. I thought this would be a great excuse to get my brother and sister-in-law, as new parents, out of their home and eat something nice. So we went to Bettolino Kitchen, a restaurant that I would have never noticed even though I'm in the Riviera Village area often.

The prix fixe menu featured three starters, which we got one of each. SIL thought her Insalata d'Estate - romaine, watermelon, cherry tomatoes, mixed olives, onion sprouts, feta cheese, and lemon dressing, was fresh and good. I thought my brother's Crostone di Funghi e Pecorino - sliced speck and sautéed crimini mushrooms, was excellent. My Zuppa d Piselli - cold mint scented peas, zucchini and yogurt veloute with squash blossom and pea sprouts was delicious, although the pea sprouts, which were long and thin, made eating it with a soup spoon difficult.

Pappardelle con Ragu d'Antica
For the secondi, brother and I both had the Pappardelle con Ragu d'Antica - stewed and shredded duck leg, pine nuts, and tomato sauce while SIL had Salmon al Salmoriglio - petite salmon fillet, herbed cous cous, sauteed zucchini, red bell pepper, eggplant, garlic, fresh oregano & parsley, lemon and extra virgin olive oil. The pappardelle was excellent. Alas, while the eggplant and salmon was good, the cous cous was overly salty and the zucchini perhaps a bit too old as it was bitter.

Salted Caramel Semifreddo
Our waitress presented us with a complimentary Salted Caramel Semifreddo - semi-frozen salted caramel mousse, layered graham crackers, and chocolate sauce, as she had given the wrong order to the chef, increasing wait time for our entrée. I didn't particularly mind the wait time, and I thought it was quite nice of her to proactively offer the semifreddo, but I wish she had done so prior to my ordering of dessert, because we were then too full. The semifreddo was very rich - it's definitely a dish to be shared - and depending on how into the salty-sweet trend you may be, potentially too salty.

Our Peach Melba - poached peach, vanilla gelato, raspberry sauce, almond crumble was pretty decent. We had to deconstruct it because of SIL's newly imposed dietary restrictions, so perhaps we didn't eat it as intended. The peach and gelato were very good, but I thought there was too much almond crumble, which featured semolina.

deconstructed Peach Melba
Overall, I really liked our appetizers and mains. I would go back again for those, but would instead go around the corner and across the street to Desserts by Patrick for some gelato after the meal.

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