Bonita’s: The cozy lodge in the city serving authentic Spanish delicacies

(Photo: Raya Tarawneh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Stepping into Bonita’s feels like coming home. Located in the heart of Amman, the intimate Spanish casa — an inn, tapas bar, and restaurant — transports you elsewhere. اضافة اعلان

Enveloped by greenery and featuring a wooden exterior with a dark finish, it closely resembles a cozy lodge that belongs anywhere but the city.

Lined with mirrors, string lights, and flowerpots, Bonita’s outdoor patio is divided into two parts: a restaurant and a tapas bar.

The server explained that although the kitchen and the menu are the same, each part attracts a different crowd. While the restaurant is typically frequented by those looking to have a meal and enjoy Spanish lounge music, the tapas bar sees more youngsters and plays louder, more lively music well into the night.

He added that the best time to visit is usually after 6pm, when the place is bustling with people both indoors and outdoors. I arrived in time for lunch, and chose to be seated in the outdoor restaurant area.

Given the wide array of authentic delicacies on the menu, you’ll surely be spoilt for choice. Some signature dishes include gazpacho, empanadas, patatas bravas, tortilla española, and, of course, four kinds of paella that serve between two to six people.

Hoping for a quintessential Spanish culinary experience, I ordered a salad and several tapas — small, bitesize portions that are typically ordered to sample and share.

The Bonita’s salad, which came with palmettos, fresh avocados, and artichokes in a honey mustard dressing, was the perfect fix for the 2pm summer heat.

The first tapa to arrive was the patatas bravas: fried potato wedges in a spicy cayenne sauce accompanied by garlic aioli. This Madrid staple was perfectly done: the sauce not too spicy or mild but just right.

Then came the sautéed garlic shrimp, sizzling hot in a lemon sauce to be enjoyed by any seafood aficionado, especially with a cold beverage on a summer’s day.

The chicken quesadilla, cut up into four small pieces with cheese, green chili, and a side of sour cream, was my personal favorite. The cheese was not overpowering, leaving room for the tanginess of the fresh green chili.

The meal — although delicious — was not the most vital part of the experience. While the food came out promptly, Bonita has an unhurried and relaxing ambience. It leaves you wanting to stay long after your plates have been scraped clean.

This was my first time at Bonita’s, but the restaurant greeted me with a familiarity that made me feel right at home. It comes as no surprise that Bonita’s remains a popular Thursday night spot for many Ammanis.

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