This post is also available in: Spanish
The bastion of Mediterranean delights: Bon Vivant (on Calle 74, San Francisco)
Bon Vivant’s kitchen is in constant evolution since the combination deli, restaurant and bar opened just in time for the holidays last year. The menu is a fun read, as humor is used in creating the names of the dishes. The only downside is that your favorite plates might not be in the menu the next time you go. The menu changes almost monthly.
A true foodie knows that you have to see the world to know how to eat well, through experiencing the best of each culture visited. This all-encompassing view of cuisine is what is offered at Bon Vivant. The ever-changing menu is mostly influenced by the Mediterranean, and currently has a Japanese touch, with administrators unwilling to predict the way the winds will turn in the future. On Saturday and Sunday the restaurant hosts an “Around the World” brunch.
Local ingredients are used in the creation of dishes, but most include the unique touch of some imported goodie that can’t be found anywhere else in Panama. Most of these products are available in the deli, making the restaurant a tasting kitchen for the products available in the mixed space.
Cheese fans will go wild over the cheese tablets, that are served on a chalkboard with the name of each variety spelled out for diners. Bon Vivant recently held a “true or false” tasting event for clients to give them a chance at recognizing the difference between authentic cheeses and the mass-produced versions of them. The fact that Champagne when produced outside of a certain corner of French wine country is but another sparkling wine, applies also to Gouda Cheese.
It was a fun experiment which showed that people could in fact notice big differences in taste, smell and texture. Those who appreciate the original finer things in life attest that the luxury is totally worth it! True camembert, tartufo, and many other types of cheese await to be discovered.
Raising a glass
An extensive collection of liquors can make selecting one a challenge, and the staff is versed in recommendations to pair a wine or a beer from a list containing over 50 different options.
Families and friends enjoy a covered terrace or the indoor dining area at the front of the shop. Standard procedure is to order a selection of the different dishes to best enjoy a tapas-style meal. One great option to order is Tiradito del Rey ($10), whitefish cooked with lemon juice, garnished with European peppers and piquillo sauce. Flavors are balanced by savory anchovies and Hawaiian salt. The Duck Crepes ($16) are delicious and disappear quickly. The flavorful dark meat is dressed up in the roll with caramelized onions, and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction and apple compote finish.
Located on Calle 74, San Francisco, on a one-way street that is accessible from the corner of Banco General on Via Porras across from Parque Omar.
It is open every day of the week from
10:00 a.m. to midnight.
or call 6278-1077.