Summerland’s Bonitas Bistro is operated by Chef/Proprietor Colin Rayner, a British transplant who spent a large portion of the last two decades working in the top resorts in Bermuda.  Despite these international roots, Chef Rayner easily adapts his recipes to focus on the Okanagan’s local cuisine and quickly befriended the local produce purveyors, to source locally.    

The Bistro is located just above Bonitas Winery in Summerland, The Okanagan’s only lakeshore winery with a licensed restaurant with spectacular views overlooking the winery’s vines and Lake Okanagan.  Offering both lunch and dinner and open seven days a week, diners can choose to sun themselves on the patio, or cooler indoor seating.  Chef Rayner also caters weddings and private parties, and is known for his inventive, but well-priced cuisine.

A dinner at the Bistro might begin with a glass of Bonitas Winery’s crisp Chardonnay and perhaps the basil seared tuna served over a nicoise salad with preserved lemon aioli.  There are sweet chili ribs with wasabi potato salad, a daily soup and a flavourful green salad with grapes, fennel, poached pear and blue cheese. Entrees range from the char-grilled maple mustard-glazed pork chop to mushroom risotto, or New York Strip loin rubbed in porcini and oregano dust.  Do leave room for the maple white chocolate cheesecake with blueberry compote, or at least for the sticky date pudding with house made ice-cream.

Check their website (bonitasbistro.com) for upcoming live music throughout the summer, for an extra special evening out.

~ Cassandra Anderton

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