If You Go
BONITA BISTRO CUBAN RESTAURANT
- Where: 9800 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs (at the Comfort Inn)
- Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
- Information: 948-9150 or visit www.cubanbistro.net
- Name: Bonita Bistro Cuban Restaurant
- Style: Authentic Cuban cuisine in a casual, family friendly setting
- Décor: Cuban art and memorabilia
- Owner: Luis Hernandez
- Seating: Indoor seating for 90 persons
- Happy Hour: 4 to 7 p.m. daily with two for one draft beer and house wines
- Entertainment: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays, $5 cover for Salsa Party with DJ Z-Bop Unlimited
- Catering: Available off and on premises for all occasions.
- The Scoop: In the restaurant business for 16 years in Cuba, Luis Hernandez, owner of Bonita Bistro Cuban Restaurant, immigrated to Bonita in 2001, as he says, “the only place I’ve been to in the United States.”
Accompanied by his wife, Ivelises and 8-year-old son, Pablo, the family restaurant offers authentic Cuban fare. The couple also has a two year old, Lia. And on Friday Nights, the restaurant turns into a colored lighted disco, as DJ Z-Bop Unlimited spins hot Latin tunes.
- From the Owner: “We are not a cafeteria but a 100 percent restaurant. Everyone who tries our food loves it. If you like chicken, you will love our chickenfricassee,” Hernandez said.
- Diners’ Favorites: The most requested dishes are Paella ($45 for two), served with a pitcher of homemade sangria and roast pork ($12.99), marinated for 72 hours, slow cooked for seven hours and served with any two sides (the house recommends Congris rice and Maduros). Sangria by the pitcher is available for $15 and fills four glasses.
- Sample menu items:
Starters ($2 to $10.99): Cuban platter (fried chicken, pork chunks, Maduros, Yaca Frita), croquettes (ham or chicken), shrimp cocktail, buffalo chicken tenders, served with blue cheese and hot sauce, Caribbean meat pie to fish or shrimp baskets.
Pasta ($7.99 to $13.99): Shrimp Alfredo (grilled shrimp in Alfredo sauce over linguini pasta), angel bistro, spaghetti Naples (homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese over spaghetti), spaghetti bolognese to ham and cheese spaghetti.
Salads ($4.99 to $9.99): Bistro salad (mixed green, blue cheese, raisins, praline and creamy balsamic dressing), house mixed green salad, warm shrimp spinach salad (garlic shrimp in white wine, onions, diced fresh tomatoes, over spinach) to Caesar, shrimp, tilapia or beef salads.
House Specialties ($12.99-$22.99): Seafood casserole (shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels and clams in red spicy sauce), churrasco steak a caballo (grilled skirt steak topped with two eggs), chicken fricassee, ropa vieja (shredded beef sauté in tomato sauce white wine, with peppers, onion, garlic, served with white rice & black beans) to vaca frita (shredded beef sauté in white wine, garlic, onion, lemon, served with white rice and red beans).
Jean Amodea is a freelance writer for The Banner. She can be reached at jeanamodea@earthlink.