Good Friends, good food, good wine” is the mantra of Chef Colin Rayner, Proprietor of Bonitas Bistro. A native of Great Britain via Bermuda, Rayner moved his family to the Okanagan to realize his dream of running his own restaurant. After the end of his second season, this award-winning Chef has developed a loyal following, adding his own brand of international charm to Summerland’s growing foodie momentum. 

From the traditional to non-traditional, Rayner’s lunch and dinner menus offer tempting flavours at equally tempting prices. Being Chef/Proprietor, Rayner takes great personal interest in his clients’ needs and requests, saying “We’re super-flexible. If someone has special dietary needs, it’s not a problem.”

Bonitas Bistro’s lunch menu includes several options, such as delectable twists on the open-face sandwich, fresh daily soups, and flavourful salads. Dinner steps it up a notch, with steak, pork, fish and seafood entrees, spice roasted duck, and their newest addition: slow-braised lamb shank. Mouthwatering appies, from sweet chili ribs to duck confit poutine are available on both menus, as well as what’s become their signature Avocado Prawn Bruschetta, since being featured in the last issue of Food & Wine Trails Magazine. “People came in clutching that magazine saying, ‘I want this!’” says Rayner.

The spacious 70-seat dining room features the work of Okanagan Artist Jeff Beier ( and the same spectacular views visitors enjoyed from Bonitas Bistro’s popular outdoor patio. Not just a summer destination, the Bistro is open late through the season, and available for private functions at almost every budget. Chef Rayner is also taking bookings for on-site weddings for 2013.

~ Sarah Willard