Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bonvenu Restaurant & Bar - CLOSED

Bonvenu, 2915 W. Cary Street, Richmond
Brunch menu

Karisa: I've walked or driven by Bonvenu countless times, but have never been inside. I'm so happy I finally had a chance to go; happier still that I got rockstar parking right in front. (By the way, I am becoming an awesome parallel parker!) I was first to arrive, and was asked at least 4 times if I had a reservation. The host/server seemed very confused that I didn't, and quite flustered trying to figure out when a table would be available. That was pretty annoying. I sat at the bar to await my fellow brunchers, but my annoyance began to taper when I learned that a pitcher of mimosas was $10. Major win. I was even less annoyed when I saw her make the pitcher - an entire bottle of champagne substitute with just a hint of orange juice. That's my kind of mimosa. We were seated soon enough, and I quickly found my go-to brunch item. I was pretty disappointed that it was by far the most expensive item on the brunch menu...but these are the things I must endure in the search for the perfect crab(cake) benedict. It seemed to take forever for us to get our food, but luckily there was plenty of mimosa to go around! When it finally came, conversation came to an abrupt halt so we could all devour our respective foods. Overall, the benedict was good. Eggs cooked well and tasty crab. In fact, the asparagus was really good too. The thing that was missing was a carbohydrate underneath. Crab is not sufficient to soak up all the yolky and hollandaisey goodness. Add some bread, and I'll be stopping in more often.

Andrea: I had been to Bonvenu once before, for a late night snack. I was excited to try the brunch, and it was an enjoyable experience but not quite all that I had hoped for. The area that definitely did NOT disappoint was the mimosa. Karisa and I were both really impressed with the amount of bubbly that went into our beverage. Several things on the menu sounded pretty yum, so I had a hard time deciding between an eggy breakfast item or a tasty sandwich. I went with the cheese and asparagus omelette, which came with hash browns. The asparagus was very verdant and the hash browns were just the perfect amount of brown. Our guest bruncher's sweet potato waffle was also quite delish but my dish won the award for the best of the week by a slim margin. I'd return here for drinks, and enjoyed the food, but probably not enough to make it part of my regular rotation of restaurants.

MicheleOur brunch at Bonvenu started out at the bar waiting for a table.  After watching the bartender use a generous hand pouring champagne into a pitcher of mimosas, I got excited to try her Bloody Mary.  It turned out to be just your average Bloody Mary, nothing fancy.  We got settled at our table and played a quick game of "which of the paintings on that wall would you hang up in your house?" at Karisa's suggestion.  It was fun and I think we should play it more!  Anyways, this is a food blog.  We had to wait awhile for our coffee, and when it arrived, it tasted like popcorn.  The breakfast section of the menu is heavy with varieties of Benedicts.  I wasn't really in a heavy food mood that morning, so I selected the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich off of the lunch menu with a side order of grits.  Grilled portabella with lots of other hearty vegetables, mozzarella, and pesto.  I felt like I needed some veggies in my life, and this sandwich totally met my needs.  The sandwich tasted strongly of balsamic vinegar, but I don't mind that.  The grits were wonderfully creamy and cheesy.  I'd like to come back and try one of the exciting Benedicts on the menu when I'm in more of a brunchy mood

Marin, Guest (and hopefully frequent) BruncherI ordered the Sweet Potato Waffle. Does my decision require explanation? Am I alone in my indiscriminate weakness for the sweet potato, whether baked, fried, pureed, or... (apparently) waffled? I was intrigued and salivating. It came (after an all-but-unbearably long wait!) topped with spiced granny smith apple, maple syrup and whipped cream. The apple slices were flavorful, juicy and plentiful; a teaspoon-ish ration of the maple syrup was methodically – dare I say lovingly? – poured into each waffle crevice, evoking pleasant childhood reminiscences (my grandfather was a maple syrup placement stickler!); and the chef did not skimp on the whipped cream – a healthy dollop adorned the concoction. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the way the various tastes complemented each other and combined to form quite a satiating meal. One caveat to my otherwise glowing review: Order a side. Unlike the egg dishes, the waffle does not come with a side, but trust me when I say it's a worthwhile investment. Somewhere between halfway and three-quarters of the way through your meal you'll begin craving some variety. I recommend the shredded hashbrowns: a bit on the salty side, these little devils are bursting with flavor.

Rating: 3
Food - Good. Sufficient variety, with good balance of sweet and savory. No specials, but several veggie-friendly options and non-egg options.
Service - Fair. The waitress was very friendly, but it took us 15 minutes to get a table, even though it didn't seem all that busy, and it took us forevvvver to get our food.
Ambiance - Good. The space is small and intimate, but a bit noisy when the restaurant is full. I loved the light fixtures, both the lights atop the bar, with their bubbly glass, as well as the chandeliers in the middle of the dining room. The artwork was eclectic. And the heart-shaped mirror on top of the bathroom sink was super cute.
Coffee - Fair. Tasted a bit like burnt popcorn.
Mimosa - Very Good. Excellent ratio of sparkling wine to orange "juice". Excellent price - $10 for a pitcher.
Bloody Mary - Good
Nothing special, standard and drinkable.

Bonvenu on Urbanspoon


  1. Did you know that one of the owners on this lovely place works at Allianz? We have had some great dinners here. One of our favs was on new years eve. They have a great view of the ball rising over the byrd. The creme brûlée is hit or miss but they are one of the few places in town that carries Micheal Collins so they will always be top of my list.

    1. I do remember you saying that! I look forward to going back for dinner sometime too (or a pitcher of mimosas) :) -Karisa

  2. I enjoyed the review of the restaurant but I am confused. Is it now closed and when?
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