Kev and I enjoy a date lunch at Bellini’s Ristorante.
By Jan Walsh
Bellini’s Ristorante is the namesake of the classic Italian cocktail, Bellini, which means “little beautiful one.” And lunch here today is a beauty.
While looking over the cocktail menu, I am pleased to see specialty drinks that I recognize, such as Bellini… I often marvel at how complicated restaurant cocktails have become. Bartenders set them on fire, adorn them with edible flowers, and build towering garnishes taller than the drink itself. But that does not necessarily make them taste good. I want a good drink of quality ingredients, not a science experiment. And Bellini’s Margarini keeps me coming back for more. This mix of Blanco Tequila, Gran, Gran, fresh lime and peach topped with Prosecco and a smoked salt rim is refreshing, tickles my nose, and dances on my palate.
We start with Bellini’s Fried Crab Claws with smoked cocktail sauce and drawn butter. The meaty claws are golden and crunchy on the outside and delicate and delicious on the inside. And cups of today’s tasty Corn Chowder soup warm the day with creamy comfort.
For entrees Kev orders a Mushroom Burger. I typically order a Wood Grilled Caesar top with one of their protein options: chicken, steak, shrimp, salmon, lump crab, or grouper. But I came for today’s special salad, Blood Orange Salad. And to make it a meal, I add a filet of pan seared grouper. Kev’s thick handmade, juicy beef patty is grilled to order. Beer braised button mushrooms are slathered atop the beef patty and underneath melted mozzarella, melding the burger into a beefy, earthy, and cheesy synthesis.
My grouper arrives on a separate plate, which keeps it hot and the salad cold. I transfer it to the plate of arugula in a lovely red wine vinaigrette. The salad also boasts bites of feta, roasted hazelnuts, is crowned with fresh slices of navel oranges and blood oranges. This salad has it all! The citrus adds zing and liveliness to the beautiful cut of fish. The feta adds a pungent touch of creaminess. And the hazelnuts add a crunchy texture. Highly recommended!
Enjoy a romantic meal at Bellini’s Ristorante for Valentine’s Day weekend, with four specials on Friday and Saturday, February 13 and 14.
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