Thursday, March 25, 2010
Bon Appetit, Dunedin, FL
Bon Appetit is a 30-year-old landmark restaurant on the St. Joseph Sound waterfront in Dunedin. It was voted Tampa Bay's Best Waterfront Restaurant for 2009...however, I'm not sure I'm completely in agreement with that consensus. Still, it's a lovely eatery with beautiful water views and solid, classic cuisine. I like the "old-school" feel of the place...the interesting combination of comfort food and traditional continental cuisine on the menu, crisp white linens, elegant place settings, and more-formal-than-your-average-Tampa-Bay-waterfront-restaurant waitstaff make dining there feel a little like stepping back in time (you will definitely not confuse this place with Frenchy's). These are also probably some of the reasons why it attracts a more "mature" (and I think you know what I mean *coughbluehairedcough*) clientele. ;) The view from our table:
Mom and I converged on the scene last week to enjoy a leisurely "ladies' luncheon", and we were not disappointed. Warm, crusty dinner rolls were presented with tongs from a warming basket by a dedicated "bread-server" while we perused the menu.
I opted for the $18.95 3-course lunch, which included soup or salad and a choice of two desserts. I started with the grouper chowder (which mom had, too) and it was very nice. I would've preferred something slightly thicker and chunkier, but the flavor was excellent and both of our cups looked like they had been licked clean by the time we were done.
Service at Bon Appetit is extremely leisurely on its best day and was downright pokey on the day we were there (our waiter was new, albeit enthusiastic)...but who cares? We had a nice window table and cocktails to keep us entertained.
For my entree, I selected Roasted Half Rack of Lamb with Pecan Crust. It was delicious, and was served with traditional mint jelly, grilled asparagus, and a delightfully tasty potato croquette...along with some strange french fried veggies which I couldn't immediately identify, but later determined were rutabagas. This was my first experience with rutabaga, and it was actually quite nice...sort of a cross between potato and apple.
Mom opted for the Roasted Red Snapper on a Bed of Lobster Hash with Beurre Blanc. How could something called "Lobster Hash" possibly be bad? Mom confirmed (between bites) that it indeed couldn't be.
My dessert course of Viennese Raspberry Pudding was presented after we finished our lunches. While it looked beautiful, it was only okay...not like a pudding at all, but almost like over-sweeteened pureed fruit topped with whipped cream. I'm not sure what that was all about, but I wouldn't order it again.
The entire experience lasted bout two hours and we rolled out of there fat and happy.
Miss you, mommers (4/12/1936-4/13/2011).
My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.