Bona Italian Restaurant
Bona Italian Restaurant – Wilton Manors: 2468 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors, FL 33305
Bona Italian has been a main stay in Wilton Manors for many years, originally opened in 1979. it’s a local favorite for Italian food. We had heard that it was under new ownership, but were not sure if this is true or not, because the website says it has been family owned for the past 35 yrs. They also make mention that over the next two years they will be updating the restaurant to bring fresh new life into it. So we decided that we would check it out. In the past we had never been fans of the old Bona Italian as we felt they never knew how to cook the food and it was very tasteless. So we met two family members there for diner on a Sunday evening. We had not been huge fans of this place in the past, but we thought we would give it a try with the new ownership.
One of my gripes about just about everywhere in Wilton Manors is the lack of parking (street or parking lots). So we had to drive around forever finding a spot. After we finally got to park, we headed over to the restaurant.
At the time we entered there was only one other table of customers besides who we were meeting. However after about 30 minutes, the place filled up fast and became almost 100% full. There is a good number of tables inside which allows for plenty of seating. But because of the hard surfaces, when it is full the noise can be quite loud from everyone’s conversations. But hey it is like a real Italian restaurant where you hear every family conversation!
Bona Italian also have take out and alot of people like to order their pizza for take out.
We started our dinner with a few appetizers. The Minestrone soup was in a nice hearty base and very filling. Jerry and Amie both enjoyed it. I decided to try out the mozzarella sticks. Now this is always a tricky one. They were perfectly cooked with a crisp breaded outside, but none of the melty gooey cheese inside escaped the casing. The table decided to try the famous garlic knots. I must say that they had plenty of garlic on them and alot of oil. Amie and Kelly loved them, but Jerry and I were not so thrilled with their flavor.
Our main entrees arrived with two waiters delivering them to our table. First up was the Chicken Francese on a bed of linguine. They use boneless chicken that is lightly battered and then sauteed in lemon butter sauce and wine. The flavor just exploded in your mouth and the chicken was so tender. This is one of my favorite dishes when done right, and let me tell you, they know how to do it right.
Next up was the Pizza with grilled chicken and red peppers. The sauce had a very good flavor, not too sweet and they cooked the chicken and peppers just right. The crust was not over done although it was nice and crispy. The cheese was plentiful and melted nicely on top. The calamari was what Amie decided to use as her main course. They were breaded with a nice light coating and served with a marinara sauce for dipping. And finally a side salad which was also someone’s main dish.
Overall we enjoyed our meals and thought that the food has definitely improved over what the old restaurant used to serve. The waiters could use a little more help and personality, but there was one waiter who helped make any issues a non-event. Also I think they could improve form using a large laminated menu to something with a little more class. But over all it was a very good experience and you should try this restaurant out.
Pricing: $$-$$$- lunch or dinner depending on what you order, and beer or wine