Bettino at the Marina Village debuts
Bettino at the Marina Village in St Ann is ready to let Jamaica know they have arrived. Opened a little over a year ago, the restaurant has already become very popular with diners from Ocho Rios and its environs.
To make sure they are the restaurant of choice and always improving, last Saturday, the restaurant invited a select group of discerning diners to put them to the test at a private tasting event.
It may be an understatement to say the restaurant is off the beaten path. A trip to Bettino takes you away for the hustle and bustle of the tourist town into the secluded community of Drax Hall, where the crashing of the waves is your only distraction.
Under the stewardship of Executive Chef Dane Antwine, diners were guided through a tantalising experience that began with a taste opener of foccasia bread and caponata. Simple enough, the flavours wasn't overpowering and was a good complement to the delicious flatbread that got the taste buds warmed up.
This was followed by an appetiser of prosciutto ham and bruschetta. Then it was pizza time! There were many choices. The restaurant included five on their menu, and these they have mastered. There is the Bettino, Tricolore, Boscaiola, Ciociara and the Margherita. Simple, crisp taste, they were all divine showing what one can do with simple ingredients. If you ever visit Bettino, you have to try the pizzas but only indulge in the Ciocira if you love anchovies. the crust was made in-house with Italian mineral water, was very good.
Perfection in simplicity
The cream of broccoli soup was simple and perfect. And then there were the pastas. The beef lasagne was OK. The Wave of the Sea linguine pasta sauteed with clams mussels, shrimps in a unique Mediterranean sauce with fresh basil wasn't a favourite among the group, neither was the Three Musketeers. The combination of fresh rigatoni pasta saute with chicken breast, smoked pork loin and beef tenderloin in red wine cream sauce was not harmonious. The penne salmon, however, was a winner. Fresh penne pasta with sauteed salmon in a light tomato sauce was developed in-house and is perfectly creamy and well balanced.
The restaurant also scored big with the entree of Abbacchio Con Patate and Filetto Di Salmone. Abbacchio Con PatatÈ of lamb chops baked with potatoes, olive oil and rosemary. The herbs were a perfect match for the lamb, which was melt-in-your-mouth tender. The fillet of salmon pan-seared with mixed vegetables, champagne sauce and roasted almond was salmon like you have never had before. The almond crust was the perfect amount of crunchy just enough to give it some texture but was flavourful and delicious.
The best was saved for lasttiramisu. It was the perfect way to cap off the evening. With a staff that's eager to please and a plethera of options, the Bettino is definitely worth a try.