Bonaire Dutch Caribbean Food
Don and I had only been on the island a couple hours and we spotted this place
Hard to Guess
It was hard to get a feel for the place before it opened. The red shuttered doors and windows meant no peeking. The hand painted sign above the chalk menu, made the place look like a beach bar. But once the doors opened at 5, Don and I wandered in and found something quite different.
At a glance, this looked like a bar in Key West, maybe. But the little place felt more like a charming European pub to me. Maybe that was because of our Dutch bartender, Hans. Or maybe it was the Swedish looking, painted pannels on the front of the bar, or the funny stone "foot prop" that surrounded the bar.
Maybe the European feel was because Mona Lisa was staring at us from a wooden wall beam. Hans said the restaurant wasn't actually named for the character in the painting, but for the wife and daughter of the original owner. It was over 100 years ago a Mona and a Lisa lived in Bonaire and walked through these doors. As for the women in Hans' life? He says he belongs to 4 women. His wife, 2 daughters and Mona Lisa.
Hans seemed pretty relaxed and soft spoken to be the owner. But when he said he closes the place on weekends, I figured he must own the place. You know you're in a laid back tourist community when the owner of a restaurant chooses to be closed on weekends to be with family!
Later That Night
That's all it took. We made reservations before leaving and returned after sunset for a table on the sidewalk.
Pink and Wine
It doesn't take much to please me. Give me a pink tablecloth and napkin and a little wine with Mona Lisa etched on the glass and I'm pretty happy.
We sipped a bit and nibbled on some fresh bread that we had smelled earlier. Earlier, our bar stools had given us a great window view into the kitchen where the chef had been making last minute decisions on the menu.
When Dining on the Island...
Don is the seafood man and he went for the catch of the day, which was Wahoo, I believe. We also shared a serving of augraten potatoes.
As we dined away, we had some pretty good entertainment. There was a flow of tall, blond Dutch tourists on the sidewalks. As for the one-way street beside us, there was a constant stream of slow moving (and very loud) local cars. We should have done some counting, because there were quite a few cruising cars that we saw at least 20 times!
There were a number of decadent desserts to choose from. We went for the apple tart with cinnamon ice cream, both made by the chef.
By the time we finished dessert, we were pretty stuffed and had also had our fill of the throbbing rap and reggae from our passing cars. The speed bumps were meant to keep things calm, but I'm afraid they just made the noisy cars last longer.
This was our best and most memorable meal in Bonaire. A little noise didn't ruin it, but we would maybe go for the cute inside tables next time!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.