Be Amazed: A Table Apart in Bonita Springs, FL

A Table Apart interior view 12 2012My husband Mike and I have eaten at  A Table Apart, one of the top three rated restaurants in the Naples/Bonita Springs, FL area, twice in the last three months, and I hope we eat there every time we’re in the area. Located on Bonita Beach Road in what looks like a former standalone doctor’s office (or maybe a diner?), A Table Apart has a suitably sized parking lot for the number of tables inside. And it’s only a few miles from our Hyatt Residence Club digs, making it convenient and close right. The restaurant is itself is small and nicely decorated (I love the Ladies’ Room!); and it’s also very popular so please make sure you call ahead for reservations, no matter the night of the week.

The couple who runs the restaurant is committed to using sustainable seafood — not overfished varieties or those that may contain harmful levels of pollutants. And their emphasis is on in-season ingredients. Mike and I had never tried “Global Cuisine,” which is what the selections are billed as so we were excited to peruse the menu.

A Table Apart menu itemWhen we visited in December, “global” meant that we started with a roasted portabello mushroom “pizza.” Deconstructed and crustless, the pizza was layered: flavorful mushroom on the bottom, goat cheese snugged up against it, then a tomato tapenade, arugula and a pine nuts sprinkle. The drizzle of balsamic brought the flavors together beautifully: earthy, creamy sour, acidic, and peppery. I ate the whole thing.

Mike ordered the daily soup special, which was chock full of fresh vegetables and potatoes; Mike ate every drop, practically without speaking, and said it was “perfect.”

Tangy and chock full of fresh vegetables.

Tangy and chock full of fresh vegetables.

When our main courses arrived we were a bit more civil about allowing each other “tastes.” My hangar steak, topped with a house smoked blue cheese, was juicy. The blue cheese seemed to have an extra zip to it; could that be from it being smoked? The steak was perched atop a “pile” of crisp tender asparagus spears, mashed potatoes and topped with a happy little salad; I ate until I could eat no more. It was wonderful.

What's not to like about this savory medley?

What’s not to like about this savory medley?

Mike ordered the honey bourbon-glazed pork chop; it was served with mashed potatoes and those lovely thin green beans (haricot verts?) that had recently danced with bacon. Yum! The chop combo was sweet, but not too sweet, with hints of apple too.

Savory and sweet, the pork chop was an island in the midst of the sauce.

Savory and sweet, the pork chop was an island in the midst of the sauce.

Now you’d think we would have eaten enough, but by that time we were curious about dessert, all made in house from what I remember our waiter saying. Take a look:

Warm and cold and delish all through.

Warm and cold and delish all through.

When we returned in late February to give the menu at A Table Apart another go, we had sense enough to call ahead for reservations. And a good thing since the place was hopping; we were lucky enough to get a seat at the bar (where I think “walk-ins” dine) and had drinks while we waited for our table.

A Table Apart menu itemOnce seated, Mike and I ordered immediately; we were hungry. He started with the soup of the day, a creamy potato, if I remember rightly. A man of few words, Mike said it tasted “really great.”

I dove into a Hawaiian Kalua pig quesadilla. Shredded pork, braised in tea leaves, was tucked in with provolone and queso fresco cheeses; it was topped with a balsamic onion confit. The quesadilla was nestled on a slightly spicy tomato sauce; I made sure every bite included the savory onion and tangy tomato; the combination with the pork was melt-in-my-mouth good.

The quesadilla, a party in my mouth.

The quesadilla, a party in my mouth.

This time out Mike chose the New Zealand rack of lamb for his main course; served medium rare, the lamb was shiny with its Asian inspired glaze and topped with carrot shreds; it was accompanied by mashed potatoes and harcot verts.

New Zealand rack of lamb, Asian inspired glaze.

“Yummy?” I asked. Mike nodded his head and kept eating.

A Table Apart menu itemAnd me? I couldn’t resist. I had the flat iron steak again. Only this time Chef topped the steak with a whole roasted tomato. The juicy steak, blue cheese and tomato combination made my mouth do a happy dance.

If you are in the Bonita Springs/Naples, FL area and you love inventive cuisine that is beautifully prepared and served, consider making reservations at A Table Apart. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

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