Category Archives: Restaurants & Dining

Taste of Bonaire is Coming, with a Cultural Theme, Saturday, June 3, 2017

This year’s third Taste of Bonaire event will be held on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 in Wilhelmina Park.

Bonaire’s Cultural Attaché to Cuba will be performing.

This event’s theme is all about Bonaire’s unique culture, and will be a one-of-a-kind-event highlighting Bonaire’s cultural delegation to Cuba in July.

The “Gala di Boneiru”, in connection with SKAL and the Island Government, will present their entire two-hour show during this Taste of Bonaire, giving anyone on the island a preview of how the island will showcase its culture in Cuba next month.

Cultural Dance, Drama, and Song.

Cultural Taste of Bonaire, June, 2017Performances at this event will be by Dance Sensation, Bonaire Folkloric Dancers, Grupo Tutti Frutti, Grupo Maskarada, a Brass Band, and also Gilberto Martis (the winner of “Ban Kanta Nos Boneiru“, Luigino Molina (“Rei di Tumba“), and Marjan Offerman (winner of “Kanto Krioyo.”)  This lineup will provide an exciting show illustrating Bonaire’s history in the form of drama, dance, and singing.

Taste of Bonaire will be taking place in Wilhelmina Park from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017.  The park will be transformed into a theater style created for this special event.

Of course, there’s local food as well as international treats.

As always, there will be ample food stands selling local and international foods. The Marshe di Playa will be present offering enticing arts and handicrafts and souvenirs for sale.

But it doesn’t end there, as the the musical group, Grupo Watapana, will be keeping everyone’s toes tapping with their great music.

Be sure to attend this fantastic show and sample of some of Bonaire’s best-known treats!

(Source:  TCB)


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


Bonaire Insider Dining Review–Courtyard Restaurant

The Courtyard Restaurant at Marriott launches new menu.

Bonaire: Foodie’s Paradise.

For decades, Bonaire has been known as the “Divers’ Paradise” which put the island on the world tourism map. Next, windsurfers and kite-boarders discovered that Bonaire’s charms also provided perfect conditions for their sports, and so, then Bonaire became a mecca for those who skim across the top of the water. But now, surely we can add another claim: “Bonaire, Foodies’ Paradise.”

Bonaire has over 130 eateries offering every type of food imaginable.

For such a small island, with a population just hovering around 20,000, the island has over 130 different restaurants, with every type of food imaginable from mobile catering trucks, Bonairean snacks, neighborhood eateries, and fine dining restaurants. Many establishments receive frequent accolades which confirm Bonaire serves up some of the best food in the Caribbean. And now, there is just one more dining option for visiting foodies to put on their “to do” list: The Courtyard Restaurant.

The Courtyard Restaurant offers fine dining or beach food, whichever is your pleasure.

Chef Dhanesh de Kok (middle), Souschef Marijn Koops (left) and Junior Souschef Dior Marchena

Chef Dhanesh de Kok (middle), Sous Chef Marijn Koops (left) and Junior Sous Chef Dior Marchena (right)

I recently had an opportunity to taste-test a sampling of the new fine dining menu, just launched by Chef Dhanesh de Kok, and his assistants, Sous Chef Merijn Koops and Junior Sous Chef Dior Marchena. Respectively hailing from Curacao, Holland, and Aruba, most of the Dutch Kingdom is represented on the chef’s team.

The restaurant, located at the Courtyard by Marriott, has a comfortable bar and lounge area, sitting right on the edge of the lagoon. Simply turn your head a bit, and you’re looking out over the infinity pool, with a view which then continues on. The atmosphere is relaxed and romantic.

Our fine dining tasting menu included two appetizers, two entrées, and two desserts.

Pumpkin three ways over red and white quinoa, topped with goat cheese, raz el hanout and tarragon.

Pumpkin three ways over red and white quinoa, topped with goat cheese, raz el hanout and tarragon.

Each plate illustrated how much detail and attention was given to the elegant presentations. But this certainly was not to the detriment of taste, as each bite exploded with the different flavors and seasonings used.

Our first plate was marinated quinoa (red and white) served with the Caribbean staple, pumpkin, in three ways, and then topped with goat cheese. The seasonings were raz el hanout, which was new to me, along with tarragon.

The second starter was a home-made beef pastrami served with a ginger-lime cream and radish. Since the meat was so exceptionally tender, I asked Chef Dhanesh to explain how he did the pastrami:

“The beef is marinated in a brine for three days.  Then, it is slow-roasted for twelve hours, before being thinly sliced and seasoned with Bonairean sea salt.”

— Chef Dhanesh de Kok

The first entrée was a pan-fried red snapper over a creamy yellow-rice risotto, served with a Parmesan-infused foam and a black olive crisp. Each component could be discerned as the flavors melded together.  The Parmesan foam was amazing and quite impressive!

Creamy parfait filled with caramelized nuts and toffee.

Creamy parfait filled with caramelized nuts and toffee.

The second entrée proved to be whimsical, as it was corn-fed, farm-raised chicken, seasoned with Moroccan flavors, and then served with everything the chicken would eat–basically, corn, also three ways, including a curry popcorn. This was a fun plate to eat, as well as being delicious.

For the sweet endings, we first enjoyed a creamy parfait filled with caramelized nuts and toffee. Our second dessert was a modern take on the traditional Bonairean drink, Awa di Lamunchi, literally translating to lime-water. It is a refreshing citrus drink enjoyed by many here on the island, and it was amazing to find that luscious flavor pervasive within the dessert. I thought at first the lime swirls on the glass would be the only lime flavoring, but each spoonful of the dessert was imbued with this refreshingly light lime.

A Bonairean tradition--Awa di Lamunchi--created with a modern twist.

A Bonairean tradition–Awa di Lamunchi–created with a modern twist.

This tasting menu highlighted a few of the options available on the new menu just recently launched. But others which sound inviting include Ceviche, Shrimp & Melon, a Caribbean Bouillabaisse filled with locally sourced seafood with a hint of coconut, and of course, the 10-ounce Rib-eye with Harissa–the steak rubbed in spices and served with sweet potato and tamarind. For chocoholics, don’t forget to try the Chocolate & Chocolate–chocolate ganache cake served with a chocolate mousse and crumble.

Choose a three-, four-, or five-course Chef’s Selections Menu.

And, as is becoming very popular on Bonaire, there are the Chef’s Selections Menus, with either a three-course, four-course, or five-course option. Any food allergies or preferences can be given when ordering, and the chef will customize the menu tailored just for your tastes.

Options for vegetarians or vegans.

The restaurant sits on the lagoon on one side, and the infinity pool on the other side.

The restaurant sits with the lagoon on one side, and the infinity pool on the other side.

Vegetarians will not be disappointed. There are several options on the menu which are marked as either vegetarian or which can be prepared as a vegetarian meal.  Vegans are asked to please call in advance, so the team can shop for additional ingredients, and then they would be happy to accommodate with vegan offerings.

Good, old-fashioned beach food.

And lastly, those who just wish a quick and tasty meal with some good old-fashioned beach food can enjoy the bar menu (also served at tables) which includes jalapeno balls, chicken wings, nachos, the Dutch treat bitterbal, coconut shrimp, olives with focaccia sticks, several types of panini, pizzas, burgers, and Caesar salad.

Courtyard Restaurant serves breakfast and dinner.

The Courtyard Restaurant is open for dinner (call ahead to 715-2222 to be sure you visit on their open days) and also serves a buffet breakfast. Feel free to visit without a reservation, but if you do have any food allergies or special requests, let the restaurant know in advance, so they can best accommodate your wishes.

Have I made you hungry yet? Silence those rumblings, and make your stomach happy with a visit to the Courtyard Restaurant soon!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


Bonaire Blond Restaurant Week is May 1st through 7th, 2017

Take advantage of the Bonaire Blond Restaurant Week, with three-course dinners only $25.00 per person.


Bonaire’s own beer has its own special celebration between May 1st and May 7th, 2017 when a great many of the island’s eateries will host a special three-course culinary dinner for only $25.00 per person.

Sebastian’s Restaurant
Rum Runners
It Rains Fishes Bonaire
La Cantina Bonaire
Cuba Compagnie Bonaire Restaurant
Bistro de Paris Bonaire
Spice Beach Club
Blue Garden Brazilian Grill & Pizza Gourmet
Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino Chibi Chibi
La Guernica Bonaire
Breeze ‘n Bites Bonaire
Capriccio Bonaire
Ingridiënts Restaurant
At Sea Restaurant
Joe’s Restaurant

Be sure to visit your favorites during this special event, or try out a new eatery.

(Source:  Bonaire Blond Restaurant Week)

Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


Sebastian’s Restaurant Premieres New Summer Menu

Everyone’s favorites are still there, but there’s some exciting additions to the new summer menu at Sebastian’s Restaurant.

Just this morning, Sebastian’s Restaurant premiered their brand new summer menu. A favorite on Bonaire, Sebastian’s is well known for keeping his menu updated with the latest offerings of what is fresh and in season, with ingredients imported from locations around the world. The new menu selections are available starting tonight for dinner at the oceanfront restaurant.

What’s on the new menu?

Long-time favorites are still available.

Sebastian's Restaurant Premieres New Summer MenuWhen taking a peek at the new menu, it appears that favorites of many are still available, such as the Land & Sea (Filet Mignon with grilled Black Tiger Shrimp), the Octopus Carpaccio and Tuna Trio starters, the Caribbean Shrimp, and the Gorgonzola fettuccine. But there looks like there are some new menu items which definitely will require further investigation.

New menu items entice the taste-buds.

The “Salmon Meets Seaweed” appetizer sounds very interesting, as does the slow-cooked Pepper Steak and the New Zealand Rack of Lamb. Vegetarians will find a variety of options with four appetizers and three entrées delineated with a heart-friendly, green V.

With 15 appetizers, nine main courses with meats and seafood, six pastas, and six desserts, including the intriguing Grandma’s Cheesecake, there is no doubt everyone will find the perfect choice of meals.

After dinner, sit back, relax, and enjoy a special coffee and dessert.

After dinner, enjoy a cappuccino or late, or a fresh mint tea, or try out a special coffee–there are seven from which to choose, originating from countries around the world. Savor them with one of Bonbons Bonaire’s special chocolates or lollipops.

About Sebastian’s Restaurant

The new fine dining menu is available Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, Sebastian’s serves an Italian Night with pizzas and pastas. The oceanfront restaurant, located at J. A. Abraham Boulevard #60, is open daily from 5:30 to 11:00 PM.  Advance reservations are always recommended, and can be requested by calling 717-1697, 701-1697, or using the restaurant’s online form available on their website.

Although every day on Bonaire is summer, there are still “perfect” summer days–those with Sun, Sand, and Sebastian’s!

(Source:  Sebastian’s Restaurant)


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


Bonaire Insider Dining Review–La Cantina del Mar, Reincarnated

La Cantina del Mar on Bonaire has reincarnated itself into an exciting and fun eatery.

La Cantina del Mar, conveniently located on Kaya Grandi in Kralendijk, has undergone a metamorphosis in recent months, reincarnating itself into a world-class restaurant. Previously serving an eclectic Mexican-inspired menu, La Cantina del Mar, as it is today, is a totally new restaurant! And one which you should definitely add to your Bonaire restaurant Bucket List.

My dining companion and I decided to check it out. We made an advance reservation (HIGHLY recommended) and were surprised when we arrived to see the line of people waiting to be seated. But the line moved quickly, as the hostess efficiently seated everyone, and we promptly informed the hostess we had a reservation. I do believe it was the last open table in the house. Even every bar-stool was taken.

The menu truly offers something for everyone.

The wait staff in any of Rick’s and Kim’s restaurants are highly trained and they quickly brought us menus and took our beverage orders. At first, I was overwhelmed by all the choices on the menu, as I turned page after page. But with only a moment’s review, I quickly caught on that La Cantina del Mar truly has an option for everyone:

  • Those who want to sit back, socialize, and be served a great meal,
  • Those who want to have a little say in the decision of what will be served, and
  • Those who have definite ideas as to what and how much they will eat, and how it is prepared.

Once we figured this out, it was quite simple to make our choices. But let me describe the various options.

The Chef’s Table.

For those who want to enjoy their meal, but don’t want to bother with having to figure out what to order, La Cantina del Mar’s Menu JRE is just the thing!

Chef Rick is a member of the Jeunes Restaurateurs, an association of young chefs who share their talent and passion for great food. The chefs of this elite group combine high quality culinary craftsmanship, incorporating local culinary traditions and produce.

La Cantina del Mar offers either a four- or six-course JRE “surprise” menu, and the entire meal is prepared in the outdoor kitchen, so you can even watch its creation. A four- or six-course drink and wine option is available as well, with beverages carefully selected to meld with the food courses.

One important note about the JRE menu, it is available by the table only, so everyone at the table must take part.

À la Carte Menu.

So then we come to the second type of dining patron, those who have an idea of what they would like, but are open to suggestions from the chef. For these, the menu offers a long list of starters, all inspired by local ingredients. For main meals, there are ample choices from the restaurant’s à la carte menu, the Meat Market, or vegetarian options.

The Fish Market.

And for the foodies among us who want to have full control, there are also many options from which to choose. My dining companion and I quickly decided we fell into this category, so we zoomed in on the menu choices available via the Fish Market. The fish is fresh right from the sea, caught by the the restaurant’s fishermen. The variety changes every day, and you can check out what is available on the Catch of the Day signboard.

The Fish Market allows one to choose fish fillets in either small (80 gram), medium (160 gram), or large (240 gram) size, or one can elect a trio of fish (240 gram). Seafood, including shrimp or scallops, can be ordered by the piece. Octopus can be ordered in 50 gram increments. Total control for foodies! And so we placed our orders. You can even specify how you wish the food prepared.

The edible bread basket highlighting Bonaire and Klein Bonaire

The edible bread basket highlighting Bonaire and Klein Bonaire

The dining experience at La Cantina del Mar.

The bread basket is unique and fun to eat.

While we waited for our meals to be prepared, the bread basket was brought to us. Immediately, we sat up and took notice, as we were served our squid-ink dinner rolls (very Italian!) on a chopping board in the shape of Bonaire, complete with Klein Bonaire. We were highly amused with the divi divi trees (edible, of course), and the sand (actually bits of cheese), as we sat and chuckled over the ingenuity of the presentation.

The whimsical  l’amuse bouche were served.

Deep-fried anchovies in a luscious sauce, served as a l'amuse bouche

Deep-fried anchovies in a luscious sauce, served as a l’amuse bouche

Next, our server brought us a variety of l’amuse bouche, complimentary small bites. I particularly enjoyed the deep-fried anchovies, but all three bites were delicious.


Since I had ordered a medium-sized, whole red snapper, I was invited to go up to the Fish Market with my server and personally choose my fish. What fun! While there, I told Rick I wanted the whole barracuda, so he pulled it out to weigh it for me, saying my wish could be accommodated. Sighing, I replied I could only wish, and then I picked out a more suitable (read: smaller) red snapper from the displayed fish.

Then our starters arrived. I had chosen some grilled shrimp from the Fish Market menu, while my dining companion exclaimed over the beautifully pan-seared scallops melting in his mouth, also from the Fish Market. Since he didn’t share them with me, I will just have to go on his say-so. Then, again, I was enjoying my shrimp so much, I also didn’t share!

When our meals arrived, we promptly devoured them! My whole red snapper was succulent, beautifully seasoned, and just the perfect size. My dining companion had elected to have the barracuda (but not the whole fish!) and said it was exquisitely prepared.

By the end of our entrées, we were very full, and decided against dessert. But we shall return again soon, to try out other menu items, as well as dessert.

La Cantina del Mar is the third restaurant developed on Bonaire by Kim van Dijk and Rick van den Broek. Over the past six months, they have put a lot of love and attention into making the La Cantina del Mar dining experience a true pleasure. The restaurant regularly holds special culinary events. The menu is international in nature, with fresh, local ingredients as the star of each dish.

Have you tried La Cantina del Mar recently? If so, please add your own review!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


It Rains Fishes Restaurant Goes Indonesian with Toko Bali Buffet Night

It Rains Fishes Restaurant’s special Toko Bali Buffet Night.

On March 29, 2017, there will be a very special opportunity to enjoy real Indonesian food in a waterfront setting, when It Rains Fishes presents their Toko Bali Buffet Night.

What’s on the buffet for Toko Bali Night?

With two seatings (6:00 PM and 8:30 PM), everyone can enjoy the magical carpet ride to half-way around the world with the following menu items:

  • Daging Rendang
  • Ajam Opor
  • Babi Kecap
  • Sate Ajam
  • Sate Kambing
  • Dische Babi Pangang
  • Pepesan
  • Indische Foe Yong Hai
  • Tahu Telor
  • Sambal Goring Boontjes
  • Gado Gado
  • Nasi Putih
  • Bami Goreng
  • Nasi
  • Krupuk
  • Emping
  • Seroendenig
  • Atjar Tjampur
  • Konkommer Zuur

So who is preparing this sumptuous Indonesian feast?

Tino Exposito grew up in the kitchen, and his Indonesian origins have taught him that consuming a meal together, brings people together and creates moments of happiness.
Indonesian culture is one of socializing with family and friends, with food always being central. The recipes that Chef Exposito will prepare date back to his own grandmother, when as a young boy, he looked in all the pots and tasted everything his grandmother cooked.  With such hands-on training, he studiously remembered all the different flavors.

Now, for this special event on March 29th, Chef Exposito will transform It Rains Fishes into an Indonesian restaurant and together with the restaurant’s own Chef Giovanni, they will lead you through the mouthwatering Indonesian rice table.

Advance reservations are highly recommended.

Cost is only $29.50 per person, but advance reservations are strongly recommended.  To make a reservation, telephone It Rains Fishes at 717-8780.

Bonaire's Calendar of Events

(Source:  It Rains Fishes Restaurant)






Eat ‘Til You’re Full at Taste of Bonaire, Walk it Off on a Full Moon Hike

Taste of Bonaire and a full moon hike top the charts for weekend events.

This week has two ever-popular events, and they are timed just right!  On Saturday evening, be in Wilhelmina Park for the Bon Topa (Let’s Meet) Edition of Taste of Bonaire, from 6:30 PM until 11:00 PM.  On Sunday, get in some healthy exercise with STINAPA’s Full Moon Hike of the Lagadishi Trail.

Ban Topa (Let’s Meet) Edition of Taste of Bonaire in Wilhelmina Park.

This is a very special Taste of Bonaire because anyone attending will have the opportunity to provide Bonaire’s tourism office with their ideas and feedback on a special survey about the future of Bonaire’s tourism and the island’s tourism strategic plan.

Music, performances, arts and crafts, and food.

But of course, there will be music, dancing, arts and crafts stall to peruse, and the main event, food!  Both local and international foods can be sampled while enjoying music from
Grupo Kariño, FMK Formashon Musical Krioyo, and Projekto 2000.

Special performances and a new debut single by Jeon.

There will be performances from the Dominican Dancers, local dance artist Semi Marten–together with her dance partner from Curacao– and, direct from Aruba, we’ll be enjoying Jeon (Biggy Boy). At this special event, Jeon will also debut a new single dedicated to Bonaire.

Full moon hike of Washington Park’s Lagadishi Trail.

And, should you overindulge in all of the great variety of foods on Saturday evening, STINAPA gives you the opportunity to walk off those extra calories on their Full Moon Hike of the Lagadishi Trail in Washington Park on Sunday, March 12th, 2017 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

What you’ll see on the Lagadishi Trail.

Full moon hike on the lagadishi trail.The Lagadishi Trail takes one along the windward coast and back. You’ll see a limestone plateau that provides a complete spectrum of Bonairean windward scenery: historic sites, xerophytic vegetation (plants such as cactus, which are adapted to dry habitat), sand dunes, mangroves, a salt pan (a shallow seawater lake, which evaporates seasonally leaving a residue of salt), blowholes, and a true oceanic beach are some of the components of this trail. Flamingos are frequently seen in the salt pan. Interpretative signs are provided on this trail.

Items to bring on the trail.

Don’t forget to put on some walking shoes that are comfortable. Bring a flashlight along, because even if it is full moon you do want to see what’s on the ground right in front of you, as you don’t want to hit your toes against rocks or even cacti. Don’t forget to bring your own bottle of water and snacks if necessary.

Register your participation.

To participate, please call STINAPA at 717-8444 before 4:00 PM today. There is space for 25 people, and the entrance fee is $10 per person.  Meet at the entrance to Washington Slagbaai National Park at 5:00 PM.


Enjoy your weekend!

Bonaire's Calendar of Events


(Source:  TCB, STINAPA)





Bonbons Bonaire Offers the Fine Art of Chocolate-Making

Bonbons Bonaire provides exquisite chocolates.

A chocolate "lolly" from Bonbons Bonaire.

A chocolate “lolly” from Bonbons Bonaire.

One of the advantages of Bonaire’s burgeoning population is the fact that the island is attracting young entrepreneurs who bring new skills and arts to the island. Both tourists and residents can enjoy the fruits of their labors, and one of these that is especially enjoyable to sample is the chocolates of Bonbons Bonaire, by Pastry Chef Janos Aan Vermaat.

The process of making bonbons is fascinating.

The Bonaire Insider visited with Janos on Valentine’s Day, arguably the busiest day of the year for a maker of fine chocolates, but he was accommodating and told us all about his special atelier du chocolate, located in Kralendijk. We learned exactly how labor-intensive the making of chocolates is, and it is obvious that Janos puts a lot of love into his craft.

Special Valentine's Day BonBons, handmade by pastry chef Janos Aan Vermaat

Special Valentine’s Day BonBons, handmade by pastry chef Janos Aan Vermaat

Learning his craft.

Prior to coming to Bonaire in 2015, Janos learned his pastry craft at the three-Michelin-starred De Librije, considered by many to be the best restaurant in Holland. Working days were long and intense, starting at 8:00 AM and done at 1:00 AM. But with the knowledge he learned and the experience he garnered during this internship, Janos relocated to the Caribbean and started Bonbons Bonaire.

Chocolates require a climate-controlled area, as moisture has to be filtered from the air. The work-space where Janos creates his chocolates has a special air-conditioning unit specifically to keep the air dry and moisture-free.

Currently Janos works with two different applications for his bonbons. The first is the classic “lolly” or lollipop and for this he creates a base, inserts the stick, and then dips each one in chocolate, so it becomes similar to a chocolate truffle. Other bonbons we sampled were filled with white chocolate, Bonaire’s Cadushy, and sea salt, incorporating local ingredients which make for a unique taste. Yet another was filled with blood orange and pure chocolate.

The chocolate truffle lollipop.

The chocolate truffle lollipop.

Premium bonbons require premium ingredients.

The base is very important. Janos only uses premium ingredients in his products. The chocolate is by Valrhona, the exclusive chocolate from France. Their cocoa beans are grown in the Dominican Republic, sent to France where they are made into chocolate, and then Janos imports them back to the Caribbean for use in his bonbons. The dark chocolate is pure, the white chocolate is a mix of different world cocoa beans, so that the product has consistency, and the milk chocolate which Janos utilizes is his own personal favorite (from South Africa).

Chocolate seahorses and shells are in development.

Chocolate seahorses and shells are in development.

The special Bonaire collection of chocolates.

Janos is working on a special collection which Bonaire’s diving and snorkeling fans will enjoy–chocolate seahorses and shells. The making of these chocolates can take 24 to 48 hours to create one batch, depending upon how many layers are incorporated. For example, the initial layer (which is the top) is put into the mold, and then needs to set at least 12-24 hours prior to the next layer being added, and so on. Each layer adds time and attention to the process.

Janos shows how to use his special air-brush gun for decorating his bonbons.

Janos shows how to use his special air-brush gun for decorating his bonbons.

Making the bonbons his own with different ways of customization.

Janos adds individuality in different ways: He might dust the chocolate mold with some special “pixie dust” before adding the initial layer, he might add a color to the mold and then artfully hand draw a design with a toothpick, as in the “heart” chocolates pictured above, or he might even get out his special air-brush gun!

Janos mixes all his colors by hand. He melts down the beurre de cacao, or cocoa butter from the beans, and then mixes in the colors himself so he can get it as light or as dark as he wishes.

When asked which of his bonbons is the favorite, Janos informed me that his white chocolate “snickers” is always popular.  It’s made with a white chocolate exterior and milk chocolate filling. Truly the best of both chocolate worlds!

BonBons Bonaire's special Valentine's Day creation.

Bonbons Bonaire’s special Valentine’s Day creation.

At the end of this instructional visit, Janos shared one of his special Valentine’s Day creations with me, a heart-shaped chocolate tray filled with a variety of bonbons. I can attest that it didn’t last too long, and being able to eat the tray after the bonbons were long-gone just added to the pleasure!

Enjoying the special treats of Bonbons Bonaire.

So how does one enjoy these special treats? At the time of writing, Janos’ very special bonbons can be found at Sebastian’s Restaurant, where you will also find Janos in the kitchen at night assisting with creating savory entrées, Between 2 Buns, and Spice.

Bonbons Bonaire also provides wedding cakes or other special occasion cakes and decadent ice cream cones made with his own hand-made ice creams (such as black pepper ice cream or basil ice cream), with personally created cones.

Be sure to try out one of his special treats on your next Bonaire vacation!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)



Bonaire Insider Dining Review: Bon Aroma, a Fusion of French, Italian, & Caribbean

Restaurant Bon Aroma offers an intimate setting, with a fusion of tastes from France, Italy, and, of course, the Caribbean.

There have been quite some changes in the Bonaire dining scene over the past six months, and the Bonaire Insider is highlighting one of the new eateries which has been discovered as a hidden gem.

Bon Aroma offers a romantic, intimate setting with only six tables.

Restaurant Bon Aroma on Bonaire

Bon Aroma opened up several months ago in the pool-side setting of the YachtClub Apartments. A long-time dream of owner Karen van Dijk, the small restaurant offers only six tables, insuring an intimate dining experience.  This reporter found out that not only is the setting special, but the food is exquisite as well.

Two friends and I decided to try out the new restaurant. We did make an advance reservation, which is strongly recommended, as the small restaurant can book up quickly. Bon Aroma is in a convenient location, just on the north side of Kralendijk, an easy walk for many visitors staying in the northern hotel row or a quick drive from those staying south of Kralendijk.

The menu offers entrées from the sea or land, direct to the restaurant’s grill.

Not quite knowing what to expect, we inspected the menu. For such a small eatery, we were impressed with the scope of the menu, which offered a selection of starters with two soups, a salad, or three seafood appetizers, including the traditional French scallop dish, Coquilles St. Jacques.

Main courses included seafood, beef tenderloin, rack of lamb, or duck breast. One could choose their favorite sauce:  mango basil, white wine, or the sauce du jour for seafood entrees, or shitake, Cointreau honey, or rosemary port sauce for meat or poultry.

House specialties are indeed special.

In addition to the menu items mentioned above, the restaurant also has three house specialties: Confit of Duck Leg Gratinee, a Caribbean Court Bouillon (a steamed catch with local seasonings and hints of hot peppers), and there is always a vegetarian special of the day.

This reporter was undecided as to what to order, vacillating between the duck confit, the vegetarian dish du jour, or the fisherman’s catch of the day, which, on the evening we visited, was a duo of Bonaire lionfish and grilled blue marlin. Karlijn, our very attentive server, suggested that I go with the catch of the day, since I could return another time for the vegetarian house special or duck confit, as they are always on the menu. She did not steer me wrong!

Wines are available by the bottle or glass.

All three of us indulged in some wine (an excellent Pinot Grigio), and then we unanimously decided upon the Fisherman’s Catch of the Day, served with mango basil sauce. I opted for a side of roasted rosemary new potatoes, while my dining companions choose a side of Italian-herbed rice.

Fisherman's Catch of the Day at Bon AromaWhen our dinners arrived, we were delighted to see that the presentation was just as lovingly prepared as the l’amuse we were served while waiting. The plate was a tantalizing mix of tastes and textures, from the mild-tasting lionfish to the more firm blue marlin. A collection of vegetables, including prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and walnut/balsamic green salad, were served in addition to our elected sides. Each bite was an explosion of flavor!

Dessert plate at Bon Aroma on BonaireThe portions proved to be just right, by the time our plates were empty, we were happily full. But we could still use a sweet finish to the meal, so we opted to all share a dessert plate of home-made Dutch apple tort, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a warm compote of currants and berries, also served à la mode.

Chef Christiaan Thole prepared wonderful meals.

My dining companions and I decided we had to give five stars to our meals prepared by the new chef, Christiaan Thole.  By all means, add Restaurant Bon Aroma to your list of “must-do” eateries on your next Bonaire visit.

Where to find Bonaire’s Bon Aroma.

Restaurant Bon Aroma is located at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot 54. Parking is on the interior side of the apartment complex.  Reservations can be made by telephone at 795-9009; the restaurant is open from 6:30 PM through 10:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. Bon Apetit!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)







Valentine’s Day Dining–Sweet Cravings for Your Sweetheart!

Special Menus and Events for Valentine Dining on Bonaire.

Next Tuesday, February 14th, 2017, is Valentine’s Day, and if you’re on Bonaire, you are in for special treats. Here are some ideas for spending the evening with your special dushi (sweetheart, in Papiamentu).

Enjoy these offerings from Sebastian’s Restaurant, Rum Runners, and It Rains Fishes.

Valentine's Day Dining at Sebastian's on Bonaire's oceanfront.Sebastian’s Restaurant:

Sebastian’s Restaurant will offer two seatings on Valentines Day, from 5:30 to 7:45 PM, or from 8:00 PM to closing with their regular menu. And, the first 35 ladies to arrive for dinner on this day will each receive a surprise gift, direct from Cupid!

For more information or to make a reservation, telephone 717-1697, or email

Rum Runners:

Enjoy a Sea of Love on the oceanfront at Rum Runners with a special Valentine’s Day menu. Their menu is filled with seafood–appetizers with clams, shrimp, and crab; main courses with lobster, 1855 CAB hanger steak and rouget.  Dessert is sinfully rich, and meant to be shared, but is just too good for sharing, even on Valentine’s Day!

The three-course menu is only $45.00 per person. For those who really want to indulge, add an optional fourth course of Canadian French Kiss Oysters for $9.50 per person.

To make a reservation, call +599 717-8290, extension 100, or send an email to

It Rains Fishes:

Valentine's Day Dining

It Rains Fishes has put together a tasty four-course menu with some scrumptious special ingredients, all for only $42.50 per person.

For more information or to make a reservation, telephone 717-8780, or email


Enjoy the evening with your special dushi!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)



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