Monday, January 12, 2009

So Much To Taste, So Little Time

I thought that years of faking my way through foreign languages was over. I was suddenly transported back to that August day in Barcelona when I knew I was in trouble. Alone, after spending a month with friends in Menorca surrounded by Spanish but only speaking English, I mistakenly thought I was bilingual. Yet the only words dancing in my head were "mira...mira" (look...look), commonly shouted by young Puerto Rican kids in NYC while pulling at their mother's skirts. That was followed by a week speaking only menu-French...all of my other attempts at communication with natives in Paris were rebuffed. Germany wasn't much better. Mr. Kiel, who taught me Yiddish as a child, would have winced as I tried to pass that off (somewhat successfully) for the local language. Ultimately on that trip I lucked out in Switzerland. I was befriended by a family I met on the train who had lived in Texas for two years. They took me home with them and filled my ears with English and my tummy with the best breakfast I'd had in years. Now I'm standing in the dining room of Bonni Bakes reading menus and once again I'm perplexed.

How good is your Farsi? Luckily Parvin is happy to translate descriptions of the Iranian specialties she's serving in her Persian Tea Room on Wednesdays. Walter (cooking Tuesdays & Thursdays in January) is all-American (well, there's always his Polish roots). Happily for us he's mastered cooking French cuisine, if not the Mother tongue. Fridays Hector can easily shift between English & Spanish, just like his & Bonnie's Caribbean menu. Feel free to order in one language or the other. And then there's me. As a lifelong New Yorker and Brooklyn native, just tell me to slow down if I speak too fast. And I'm not even discussing the upcoming evening Ethiopian Dinner menu,
ask Stephanie or just read the translations!

Thanks for embracing my concept of a different chef, cuisine & menu daily. I'm thrilled, because the more you support the individual chefs, the more time I can stay out of the kitchen. Judging from this week's menus, sitting in the dining room is the place to be!


Walter’s LIGHT & HEALTHY FRENCH Menu Tues Jan 13

Salade de Betteraves au Chevre Frais et Aux Noix
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Toasted Walnuts and Walnut Vinaigrette,
all organic and vegetarian, $5

Soupe de Carottes au Gingembre
Carrot/Ginger Soup
all organic and vegetarian, $4

Casserole de Morue Fraiche sur Feuilles d'Epinards Sautees
Baked Cod with Tomatoes, Capers, and Turmeric on Sauteed Spinach $8

Poulet a l'Estragon (organic chicken with
tarragon) $7

Fraises Marinees au Porto
Organic Strawberries Marinated in Port $4

Parvin's PERSIAN TEA ROOM Menu Wed Jan 14

Soup-e Jow:
Cream of Barley Soup, chicken stock, barley, carrots, onions and sour cream $3

Salad e Shirazi:
Diced tomato, cucumber, red onion & chopped dill in a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing $2

Grilled chicken with Persian spices & saffron served with Basmati rice or Baghla Polow $8

Mahi-ye :
Fish, lemon & saffron sauté with garlic and oil served with Basmati rice or Baghla Polow $8.

Baghla Polow:
Basmati rice, fava beans, dill and saffron $3

Drinks: Persian Hot tea, Iced Tea, Sweet Tea $2 (refills no charge)
Coke, Diet Coke $1 per can

Crem Caramel: Sweet cheese and egg cake, dressed with caramel $3

White Basmati Rice $1
Pita $1

Walter’s MODERN FRENCH menu Thurs Jan 15

Soupe de Courge Roti
Organic Squash Soup with Maple Glazed Bananas (vegetarian) $4

Salade de Espinard aux Tomate
Organic Spinach Salad with Tomato and Manchego $5

Braised Lamb Shank $8

Moules au Safran et a la Moutarde
Mussels with Saffron and Mustard $8

Dessert du Jour $4

Bonnie & Hector's Caribbean Menu Fri Jan 16

Juice: Fresh pressed fruit, veggies & herbs $3.50

Caribbean Fruit Salad $7
With mixed greens & yogurt vinaigrette

Coconut Bisque $4
Topped w/toasted Brazil nuts

Garbanzo Bean Stew $5
With tomato, garlic & okra

Avocado-Herb Chicken Salad
With red onion, citrus mayo & plantain chips
Sandwich $7 Salad $8

Grilled shrimp & scallop skewers $9
With pineapple chutney & plantain chips

Rice Pudding $4

Iced tea, coffee, bottled water $2

Bonni Brown’s NYC Menu
Sat Jan 17

Soup of the Day
Cream of Belgium Endive $4

Ses Salinas Salad
romaine, red onion, cucumber, tomato, Spanish olives, Feta plus Bonni’s Dijon Vinaigrette $4

Dorothy’sBig Salad
mixed greens, assorted roasted veggies, Blue cheese, parmesan, toasted almonds plus Bonni’s Dijon Vinaigrette $6

Grilled Chicken, added to your salad $2

Pick Two
Soup, House Salad OR Stromboli (Florentine or Roasted Veggie) $7.50

Handmade 8" Individual Thin-Crust Pizzas

Naked Cheese mozzarella, red sauce, parmesan, fresh oregano $6
New York mozzarella, pepperoni, red sauce, parmesan, fresh oregano $6
Roasted Veggie mozzarella, pesto, grilled veggies, chevre, fresh oregano $7
Mahon mozzarella, spinach, tomato, red onion, red sauce, fresh oregano $7
Margherita mozzarella, red sauce, tomato, parmesan, fresh basil, olive oil $7
Chinese Chicken hoisin, roast garlic, chicken, broccoli, mozzarella, scallions $7

Mini Chocolate Orgasm Cheesecake $4 NEW!
Large cookie (ask for today’s flavors) $1.25
Texas-size Muffin $1.75
Chocolate Orgasm Cookies (Pkg/4) $4.50

Spring Water, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Diet Dr Pepper $1
Raspberry Iced Tea or assorted Hot Tea (bag) $1.50
Our House Blend of Half/Caff Flavored Coffee $1.50

Upcoming Events @ Bonni Bakes

Tues Jan 20 A TRADITIONAL ETHIOPIAN DINNER, prepared by Stephanie Peterson using recipes taught to her by her mother-in-law. Two seatings -- 6:00pm and 8:00pm, $15 per person. For more information and reservations call 941-746-6647.

Sat Jan 31 FABULOUS HORS D'OEUVRES WITH A FRENCH TOUCH, taught by Walter Murawinski (graduate, French Culinary Institute). Relax with a glass of wine, learn, ask questions, taste and take home the recipes. 6:30pm, $25 per person, limited seating. For more information and reservations call 941-746-6647.

If you'd like to receive a list of the weekly menus by email, just send your request to or call Bonni at 941-746-6647.

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