Bethany’s adds dinner to the menu
This past month, Bethany’s Airport Diner started serving dinner on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., including dine-in and take-out orders. According to owner Bethany Coviello, this is the first time in 10 years the diner has offered dinner services. Open since 1993, the admired diner has offered breakfast and lunch, accompanied by the Block Island State Airport view.
Coviello opened the restaurant when she was 27 years-old, and has now been running the diner for 28 years. “I loved Block Island and the opportunity fell into my lap. I was really thrilled about it and I’ve always liked the airport,” Coviello said. “I don’t know what else I would do. I like the people, I like the clientele, and I like my regulars.”
Coviello has the help of chef Richie Nesi, who trained in Florence, Italy for three years, starting when he was 24 years old. “That’s where I really learned how to cook,” Nesi said. He then progressed to working in three restaurants in New York City for the next 15 years. After that, Nesi moved to upstate New York and there he ran a farm-to-table, locally sourced restaurant at Silo Ridge. About three months ago, on Nesi’s one-night vacation on Block Island, he fell in love with Bethany’s Airport Diner and decided to move full time to the island to help Coviello with dinners.
With seasonal-based, different menus each night, however, brick chicken is available at every dinner by popular demand. The first dinner menu included brick chicken, salisbury steak, and swordfish. This past week’s Tuesday night dinner included roasted shrimp over mashed potatoes with a roasted garlic parsley sauce. “It was delicious,” Coviello said. Recent desserts include pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream, chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream and a cherry, and a banana split with strawberry ice cream and toppings. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available including a new option, Wine Spirit Cocktails, which is made with wine spirits flavored to taste like distilled liquors. “We wanted to shoot for elevated diner food,” Nesi said, “executed with a Mediterranean twist, and a French technique, but still staying true to the diner.”