We went to Bonimi before. On our sister's birthday last year. This time around it was also for a birthday, grandpa this time. Warm and personable service plus reasonable prices and tasty wholesome food drove us here both times.
The restaurant is conveniently located right on Bloor a little bit East of Islington. There is not much to say about the outside, to be honest. We passed Bonimi several times failing to distinguish it from the nearby businesses. It might be due to the poor spacing - tight line spacing and yet kerned out letters - trying to fit everything in the assigned signage space.
Although it is a Serbian place, we were surprised to see that there were lots of non-Eastern European folks at the tables. The place is small and it was packed full by 8pm or so. Our party of 7 definitely benefited from an earlier reservation.
The decor inside is simple and non-invasive. A cast iron handle in a shape of letter B was the only memorable element that we noticed. At the same time, it is fair to say that the fixtures were not distracting.
We went through the menu while waiting for the rest our party to arrive. The menu was a simple 3 fold, pages slided in the heavy covers, some floral pattens near the top. The best part was that the names are dubbed in Serbian so we had a chance to practice our pronunciation. We ordered a Shopska salad, a Lepinja sa kajmakom (home-style cheese bread) and Meze (assorted deli meats) as appetizers in the meantime. While the salad is fairly simple and not much to rave about, the breads turned out to be a major hit. We ended up ordering three or four more portions throughout the evening for the whole crowd. They came with a very unque cheese inside, similar to halloumi.
Besides the appetizers, we got 0.5l of their Serbian Fruskogorski Rizling. It was a bit sour and could have been a bit cooler, but overall a very easy house drink. As our main dishes we ordered a Karadordeva Snicla (Teleca) a veal bonimi schnitzel and a so-called “gypsy minced steak” - Pljeskavica.
Our food arrived fairly quickly and the generous portions were a welcoming sight to our hungry eyes. The steak was nicely grilled and very tasteful - plenty of spices and onion in there for sure. We even contemplated making one just like that at home in a few days. It came with a standard side of veggies and potatoes on the side. As far as the veal bonimi schnitzel goes, it was definitely stuffed with goodies to make its money worth. It looked a lot like a po-go without the stick. It consisted of a rolled up schnitzel stuffed with cheese, then breaded and fried. We were sure grad we got the veggie side, not the fries. In retrospect, a heavier red would have been a better match for our food choices.
We made space to share a dessert - one of their Palacinci (crepes). We tried their jam option, which turned out to be of rose hip - a great choice - not too heavy, nor too sweet.
We would recommend Bonimi for a family gathering any day. It is one of these somewhat hidden places, known well and respected by locals in Etobicoke. While it is not flashy, Bonimi does not fail to deliver on great dishes and a pleasant atmosphere at a reasonable price.