Bertini's Restaurant 2017 Menu
Bertini’s Restaurant opened in Salem, Massachusetts in 1943. Today there are less than 15 authentic Italian Restaurants in Salem, Ma with Bertini’s being one of the oldest as it is still standing. Bertini’s is located on 284 Canal Street. On Bertini’s website, http://www.bertinisrestaurant.com, there is some history regarding the restaurant, their contact information, and an online version of their menu. When Bertini’s opened in 1943, the owners, Charles and Esther Bertini, had the idea that it was going to be a family style restaurant and business. To this day Bertini’s is still a family business as Charles and Esther’s grandson John, presently runs it. The menu has many distinctive choices of food that indicate that it is an Italian-America restaurant. The contemporary menu has 15 sections including a children’s section, smaller subsections, and also additional titles that are more enticing. There are still many of the same dishes that were on their ca. 1945 menu, but new specials and then some! The prices are moderate and some may say they are actually pretty cheap compared to other Italian restaurants. There is actually only one meal listed that is over $20 which is the fried fisherman’s platter. A lot of Italian Restaurants now a days price their meals anywhere between $15.00-25.00 dollars a plate. A family could afford to go to Bertini’s for dinner and not break the bank.
The structure of the menu is organized by in which order the meal should come out but also what kinds of food there are. The contemporary menu includes the word Entrée, which is an organizing word that describes the structure of a meal rather than the actual food, which helps make the menu more organized. Appetizer’s is also a structure word like entrée and they are used on Bertini’s menu to represent the place in which a meal should be brought out. Appetizer’s is listed first on the menu because we know appetizers are usually brought out before our entrees and dessert. The Appetizers include Chicken wings/tenders (plain or buffalo), Mozzarella sticks, Potato skins, Fresh hand cut-onion rings, Garlic bread, Mini tacos, Cheese & crackers, and Popcorn shrimp. Some of the appetizers like the Mini tacos and Popcorn shrimp give off the idea that they have expanded their menu and ventured out from just Italian food. All of the appetizers are below $7 dollars making them extremely affordable. There is a Fresh Salads section that is a good use of marketing language because it adds a sense of health and desire to the menu because who wouldn’t want fresh food. The House salad is a measly $3.50 and the most expensive salad is Chefs Julienne salad, which is $8.95, still below $10. There is a section titled Pizza—Pizza—Pizza, that gives you a list of toppings ($1.00-1.50 a piece) that you can add to your basic cheese and tomato pizza ($6.95) or you have the option of trying one of their specialty pizzas like the B.L.T pizza, Steak Bomb pizza, or the Chicken Broccoli pizza ($9.95-10.95). The Entrée’s are broken up into three sections listed as Seafood, Beef, or Chicken. There is a huge emphasis on fried in the Seafood section including Fried Haddock, Fried Scallops, Fried Shrimp, Fried Clam Strips, Fried Fisherman’s platter ($21.95), and Italian Fried Shrimp. There are some healthier choices including Baked Haddock and Broiled Scallops. A lot of the Seafood options being fried could be because it’s quick to cook and cuts down time. Under Beef you have three choices of a Ribeye Steak, which is priced at $19.95, which for a cut of steak at that quality is priced right. There are Teriyaki Steak tips that are $14.95, which is low for an Entrée or the Steak tip combo that is $18.95 but comes with your choice of Haddock, Shrimp, Scallops, or the Seafood casserole. The Chicken dishes are the least expensive of the three-entrée choices at less than $15.00 a plate. The Chicken section consists of some traditional Italian dishes like Chicken Parmigiana, Chicken Piccata, Chicken Marsala, and Chicken pizziola all priced at $14.95. Some more traditional Chicken entrée’s were broiled marinated Chicken Breast ($12.95) and Teriyaki Chicken over rice ($14.95). Between the three subsections of the Entrée’s: Seafood, Beef, and Chicken, there are quite a few more options under seafood. This could be because as we New England is a staple seafood region.
To stay true to their Italian roots, Bertini’s has a section glamorizing their Italian specialties. These specialties are Veal Parmigiana, Eggplant Parmigiana, Italian Sausage Cacciatore, Shrimp Cacciatore, Chicken and Broccoli, Eggplant and Veal Parmigiana combo, Eggplant and Chicken Parmigiana combo, and an Italian Fried Shrimp and Chicken Parmigiana combo. The prices for these dishes are still less than $20.00 but are higher than the entrees because they are specialties. The Italian specialties are all carb loaded, hearty, rich meals. I think that’s what makes these dishes authentic Italian because we can expect an Italian dish to fill us up and be a substantial amount of food. When you think of an authentic Italian dish you think of a big plate with a good amount of food. The majority of these dishes come from Southern Italy because they all involve some sort of red sauce. Northern Italy uses a lot of butter based sauces rich with cream instead of the more traditional red sauce we see with a lot of Bertini’s options.
There is a small list of pasta including your basic pastas with red or white sauce. The sandwich section is very long with choices of Meatball, Sausage, Grilled Chicken, Chicken/Eggplant Parmigiana, Seafood, Chicken/Tuna salad, and Burger sandwiches. The children’s menu section has a pasta option, Meatball plate, Chicken tenders or Wings, Grilled Cheese, Hot Dog, or Baked Haddock all under $20. On Bertini’s menu ca. 1945 there was no indication that it was kid friendly but they have now added a children’s menu to their contemporary menu. The offerings on the children’s menu are not traditional Italian dishes and this goes to show how limited children’s palettes are in 2017. There also are no vegetable options listed on the children’s menu because lets be honest, how many children are actually jumping to order vegetables before other choices. Adding in a children’s section to the menu highlights their ideas and objective of being that family style restaurant.
The menu has included Italian words to reflect there roots like marinara, Parmigiana, and cacciatore. The word marinara comes straight from Italy as well as cacciatore. Parmigiana means “from Parma” and the word originated in Northern Italy. Bertini’s including the word Parmigiana in their menu portrays their Italian heritage. Bertini’s is seemed to be enjoyed by many and seems to be very recommended as you can see in a review done by Joseph T on www.yelp.com stating, “Old school Salem, old school Italian. My wife and i were looking for a great red sauce neighborhood Italian restaurant and Bertini's met and exceeded our expectations. First, it's bright, warm and impeccably clean inside, something you don't immediately see from the street. Second, it's always packed in weekends for a reason. Third, the service is great. This is an old school Italian restaurant you won't find anymore that makes got feel at home and well fed at an amazing price. You're welcome.” The overall options on the menu show us that Italian American food in 2017 is very diverse and has developed immensely. A lot of the choices on Bertini’s menu are in fact not Italian dishes at all. Food has become very Americanized no matter what menu you get your hands on.