Renovated decor, upgraded menu add to charm at Betto’s Bistro

Published in the May 14-27 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

Photo by Marty Cheek Norberto Hernandez cooks ahi tuna in the kitchen at Betto’s Bistro in downtown Morgan Hill.

Photo by Marty Cheek
Norberto Hernandez cooks ahi tuna in the kitchen at Betto’s Bistro in downtown Morgan Hill.

What was for five years Ricatoni’s Italian Restaurant has recently undergone a transformation into Betto’s Bistro. Chef-owner Norberto Hernandez rejuvenated his downtown Morgan Hill eatery with a new décor and added mouthwatering steak and seafood dishes to the menu. The bistro’s patrons are excited about experiencing “a change for the Betto,” Hernandez jokes.

“The restaurant needed a little update, something more like our customers demanded,” he said. “Sometimes they said we have to remodel our restaurant. In the meantime, we decided to try a new look, and in the new look, we decided to have a new menu along with it. So then we renamed the restaurant.”

“Betto” is Hernandez’s nickname, so it seemed natural for the bistro’s moniker. Although there are many of the same Italian-American elements of the former Ricatoni’s, Betto’s has enhanced them to provide a “high-end experience” for diners, he said.

New on the menu is more seafood, fish and steak options. Starters include the new frito misto, fried squid rings and tentacles served with artichoke hearts, prawns, and drench fries tossed with fresh herbs, crushed garlic and Parmesan.

Many Ricatoni’s customers had requested ahi tuna, so Hernandez decided to provide them with various options of this fish dish including a blackened ahi tuna salad, as well as a ahi tuna and half lobster tail dish served with zucchini, yellow squash, leeks, and lemon blanc sauce.

In the steak department, carnivores have a variety of choices, including a grilled 10-ounce rib-eye served with ratatouille, garlic mashed potatoes and coq au vin sauce, and a tri-trip served with crispy onions and sauteed veggies.

“All of our steaks are certified Angus, so it’s good quality meat,” Hernandez said. “We recently offered the porter house and sold a lot because the meat is dried for 30 days and has a nice cut, a nice flavor.”

Betto’s also offers a variety of sandwiches, pasta and pizza options (including gluten-free pizza). Sandwiches include traditional American favorites. The BLT Burger is made of an 8-ounce Angus ground beef patty that includes Swiss cheese and avocado. A Ruben is made with thinly sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing on marbled rye.

Hernandez makes his pasta kitchen-fresh and provides a wide selection of dishes including lobster ravioli, stuffed rigatoni, spaghetti bolognese. His linguine fisherman is made with mahi mahi, clams, prawns and mussels in their own juices with the linguine pasta and a chardonnay cream sauce.

New on the dessert menu is a hot lava cake served with vanilla ice cream. “We make a chocolate cake, we make a little hole in the cake and pour chocolate inside,” Hernandez said. “Then we heat it up to serve and turn it upside down so that when you cut it, all the chocolate flows out from inside.”

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Betto’s will work closely with local vineyards to bring South Valley wine-tastings to its customers. Local wineries involved include Guglielmo, Creek View, Clos La Chance, Fortino, Kirigin Cellars, and Mann Cellars.

“We want to work with the wineries to come and pour wine and try it with the customers,” Hernandez said. “We tell the customers we’re going to have a wine tasting. If you come and buy an entree, you’re going to have a wine tasting. If this grows, we might also start having a (food) pairing.”

Betto’s Bistro

Location: 17385 Monterey Road
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Contact: (408) 779-7422 or www.bettosbistro.com

Marty Cheek

Marty Cheek

Publisher at Morgan Hill Life
Marty Cheek is the publisher of Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life. He is also the co-author with Congressman Jerry McNerney of the book Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels.
Email: marty@morganhilllife.com
Phone: (408) 782-7575
Marty Cheek