Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Restaurant Review, Maiden Voyage! Bunky's Cafe

First Impression:
After an hour and a half long dance party at Harbor Wellness Center, famished and thirsty, we embarked upon our maiden voyage to restaurant reviewdom. We ended up at Bunky's on Madison's near east side. Founded in the 1930's by Vito and Ninfa Capadona, Bunky's was one of the first Italian Restaurants in Madison. Upon arrival at the restaurant, we were warmly greeted by Theresa Pullara, great granddaughter of Vito and Ninfa, who resurrected the restaurant after nearly twenty-five years of being closed. Pullara, along with her husband, Rachid Ouabel, has combined Mediterrean and Italian flavors at their location on Atwood Avenue. It was a busy Friday night and we had no reservation. As a result, we were told it would be just a few minutes wait. We waited a half hour. Theresa did check in with us several times, but she was clearly being pulled in many directions.

We selected a bottle of Pinot Noir from the wine list before tackling the menu, on which we found a variety of tempting vegetarian and vegan options. The Vegetarian Vixens ordered the Falafel Plate, Fettucini Carciofi, and a Mediterranean Pizza, all with Bunky's Italian Side Salad. Lentil soup was the other starter option, but we were still all too sweaty and hot from the dance party to partake in hot soup. The salad was simple, yet very satisfying since it was cool and crunchy, just what we needed. We all loved the vinaigrette, so much so that we asked the waiter for the details. Being unsure of all the ingredients, he went to find out. Another employee came to our table right away to tell us that it contained everything but the kitchen sink. It didn't need it! Vegans take note, there is Parmesan in the dressing. The Mediterranean pizza was by far our favorite dish. It was a mouth-party for sure! The layers of flavor created by the chewy-crunchy crust, perfectly cooked vegetables, and feta were simply sensational. The Fettucine Carciofi was marginal - creamy and thick, but not much flavor. The Falafel Plate was tasty, but nothing like Falafel King, where it's also cheaper.

The Vixens enjoyed the warm and enticing environment, which was complimented by Middle Eastern music and a belly dancer. The ecletic, hodge-podge, somewhat mismatched decor made it all the more delightful in our humble opinions. We appreciated that nothing was too matchy-matchy. Though it was busy, somewhat crowded, and a little loud that's just what we were looking for on our night out.
To find out more about this hip eatery go to...

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