On May 31st, I ran into friends at Barnard College, then dashed to the IRT (1) train at 125th Street. Unexpectedly, I came upon Bettolona, an Italian Bistro at 3143 Broadway, New York, NY 10027.
Thursday was a sunny summertime day, and I pretended I was in Italy for a moment—with cobblestone streets, wide opened doors, and exposed brick walls. Checking the time, but more, the place, I was enchanted by the Upper West Side restaurant. A friendly host welcomed me to Bettolona.
Immediately, I noticed the elegant rectangular red overflowing booth; the handsome mahogany bar and the brick-lined oven for freshly made pizza.
“Hi, would you like to see a menu?” The hospitable man asked.
“Yes,” I said, “What a surprise to find you here.”
“Thanks, my name is Sandro Giusiano, I am the owner. Is this your first time at Bettolona?”
“Yes,” I said, staring at the menu.
“Please come again, everything is homemade and fresh.” He looked-up and said, “Hey, Giovanni, this lady is visiting us for the first time. Giovanni is our chef.”
“Hi, Giovanni,” I said, “I just glanced at Bettolona’s dazzling cuisine, such as: Antipasti: Asparagil Al Forno (Baked asparagus with fontina cheese, parmigiano and truffle oil), Zuppa Di Campagna (Mixed vegetable and white beans soup); Paste: Fettuccine (Homemade spinach fettuccine, sweet sausage, peas, tomatoes in cream sauce), Lasagne Verdi (Spinach lasagna with meat sauce and béchamel); and Dessert: Tiramisu and Panna Cotta.”
“You should check out our Saturday & Sunday Brunch; a favorite is the Pane Perso (Organic French toast with fresh fruit drizzled with maple syrup),” He said.
“It all sounds delicious, Giovanni,” and I asked, “What made you become a chef?”
“I love to cook. When I was growing up in Ecuador, my Mama taught me how to cook—and that love remains the same.” He smiled and we chatted for another moment, then I said good-bye.
Catch it if you can: Bettolona at 212.749.1125