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Naples Illustrated
Bonita Boutique                            May/June 2009 Issue


A Table Apart furthers Bonita Beach Road in its new culinary direction.


BY CHELLE KOSTER WALTON


Bonita Beach Road has always been a dine-out corridor, but in recent years the orientation has been changing from casual roadside eateries to small boutique restaurants with a flair for creativity. Case in point: A Table Apart has only 15 tables and booths, plus a bar serving select beers, wines and Saketinis. It bills its cuisine as “global.”


The reasonably priced menu lives up to the tagline with influences from various cultures, but heavy on the Italian and Asian—sometimes together! Take the Summer Chilled Soup, for instance. It borrows the Southern European specialty gazpacho and twists it Japanese with wasabi, which, upon presentation, is spread thinly around a bowl decorated with a ribbon of cucumber. The server pours the roasted tomato soup, you give it a stir, and you have an appetizer that truly awakens the taste buds.


Our other starter, Thai-style fried calamari, also claims Asian roots—marinated in nam pla (a pungent fish sauce) and served with a zingy vinegar-pepper dipper. The breading was nice and light, but the rendezvous with the fryer slightly too short, resulting in a doughy mouth feel.

 

Other appetizers, served both at lunch and dinner, tour the world with Korean-style chicken wings, bistro pommes frites (fries with Parmesan and herbs, and white truffle oil $2 extra), and sautéed mussels with chorizo, tomatoes and cilantro pesto.


Lunch entrées read standard upon first glance—soup and sandwich, burger, club, tuna melt. Closer inspection reveals such surprises as Hawaiian Kalua Pig on the grilled cheese sandwich, goat cheese and fried green tomato on the burger, avocado on the club, and Havarti and house-smoked ahi on the melt.