Almanac

Community - October 6, 2010

New Bona restaurant features Italian-Polish fare

by Jane Knoerle

Bona, which had its grand opening last month, is Menlo Park's newest Italian restaurant. It is also the Peninsula's only Italian-Polish eatery.

While Italian specialties are served during the week, the Sunday menu offers a taste of Poland, with such favorites as tripe soup, breaded pork cutlet, stuffed cabbage rolls, hunters' stew, and pierogi. If you're adventurous, you might try (dill) pickle cream soup or the beef knuckles. Dessert is poppy seed cake or crepes.

Co-owner Greg Ryczkowski, a Polish-American, formerly owned the Polish restaurant Old Krakow in South San Francisco. His partner, Artur Wlodarski, just arrived in this country from Poland 11 months ago.

Bona, located at 651-H Maloney Lane, near Oak Grove Avenue, replaces Brunello Ristorante Italiano, which closed after two years.

Bona's entrees include veal piccata served with sauteed spinach and parmesan risotto, salmon in pink peppercorn sauce with carrots and green beans, scaloppini of chicken breast with roasted potato and spinach, and braised beef short ribs served on polenta. Bona also serves ravioli, rigatoni, penne and gnocchi with a variety of sauces. The lunch menu includes soup, panini, and salads.

The restaurant is named Bona after an Italian princess of the Milanese House of Sforza, who became the second wife of the king of Poland, Sigismund "the old," in 1518. As queen, she was influential in introducing pasta, herbs and vegetables into the hearty Polish diet, according to the restaurant's menu. Surfing the Internet, you find several Bona restaurants on the East Coast, all featuring Italian-Polish cuisine.

Bona is open Tuesday through Sunday. Lunch is served Tuesday through Friday. Dinner is served nightly, with Polish specialties available from 3 to 9 p.m. on Sunday. There is also a complete take-out menu. For reservations, call 328-2778.

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