Overview: The late Sonny Bono was a singer, songwriter, variety show host, restaurateur and politician. He also liked to dabble in the kitchen and had a passion for cooking making time-honored family recipes for his own brood including his eldest daughter Christy – the owner of Bono’s. Except for a picture or two of her and her famous father hanging in the entrance to Bono’s, you’d be hard pressed to make the connection that this restaurant owner is the offspring of one-half of the Sonny and Cher empire (her mom, Donna, was Sonny’s first wife).
Decor: In the last year Bono’s has updated its original Miami South Beach-style vibe removing the faux palm trees and opting for a more open and uncluttered space. Cement floors, exposed ceilings, and the sleek 40-foot amber lit bar give it a chic feel. During the day the floor-to-ceiling glass walls are folded back creating a breezy indoor/outdoor dining experience. The sidewalk tables are enjoyable, but grabbing a glass of wine and appetizer at the bar is equally alluring. Really big parties should request to be seated at the round table – it makes conversing more enjoyable.
The Food: Bono’s keeps the menu fresh by introducing new and seasonal items. Appetizers, many of which can be considered a full meal, include the velvety baked brie and individual pizzas. Salads include the signature Maytag Blue Cheese and a bed of greens with lobster, avocado and papaya. Lunch includes a list of sandwiches as well as pasta (gluten-free on request) and a quartet of entrees. In the evening the menu transitions to include several beef and seafood dishes. The best deal is Bono’s happy hour featuring $2 off beer and wine by the glass with $5 well drinks and signature martinis $10 available Monday 2:30pm to close and Tuesday-Friday from 2:30-6pm. A small plates menu is also offered during happy hour and includes such edibles as sliders, edamame and deviled eggs. And, every Tuesday night select bottles of wine are just half-price. Who wouldn’t raise a glass to that?
Service: On occasion I’ve encountered the unengaged greeter or server, but they don’t seem to last very long. Typically Bono’s staff is quick, efficient and pleasant. Dining and imbibing at the bar can result in a longer wait if every seat is full, so keep this in mind if you’re not planning on linger for very long. Friday and Saturday nights reservations are recommended.
Address: 4901 E. Second Street, Belmont Shore
Hours: Sunday-Thursday., 11:30am-11pm until midnight Friday and Saturday
Disabled Access: Yes
Parking Info: Small lot behind restaurant, metered parking along Second Street, paid lots within walking distance
Restaurant type: Casually upscale
Restaurant attributes: Indoor/outdoor seating plus limited bar seating. Lunch/Dinner/Happy Hour. No kids menu – not really appropriate for children. Credit cards accepted.