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This past Sunday marked the beginning of the long awaited Brunch at Bontá Restaurant and Bar. Located in Hampton, NH directly off of 95 North, this fine dining restaurant has specialized in Italian family recipes since its opening in 2003. After many client requests and the desire to try something different, the staff behind the Tuscan-inspired restaurant decided now was the time to start brunch and when we heard about it we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it ourselves.

Well decorated Bloody Mary

The ambiance of the restaurant was warm, cozy and welcoming. Exactly what was needed on the crisp and slightly breezy Fall day. The interior, although on the smaller side, was set up beautifully and large windows, wooden beams and fireplaces provided an at-home feeling. We were welcomed and immediately seated.

The menu was short and impressive. Like any Italian restaurant they had the primo, entrada and dolce which featured many brunch favorites, only revamped. The Pastry Wrapped Brie

immediately caught our eyes for the primo and we would have been fools to pass up the Lobster Benedict and Tomato and Goat Cheese Risotto for the entrada. But we first started out the meal with brunch essentials: Mimosas and Bloody Marys. Although the champagne is the main component of any Mimosa, I believe that the orange juice makes or breaks the cocktail, and the sweet fresh-squeezed orange juice was absolutely refreshing. The Bloody Mary didn’t disappoint either. Just the right amount of spice and was impressively garnished with olives, celery, lemon and shrimp.

The cocktails set the bar high for the rest of the meal, but everything else that came out was up-to-par with our expectations. The whole meal started off with buttermilk biscuits and cranberry scones paired with honeycomb, raspberry jam and butter, way more impressive than your average bread and butter.

As we continued further into our meals everything got better and better and the timing of each item was almost perfect. That may have been due to the fact that we were there only two hours before brunch ended so the restaurant was almost empty, but I will give the kitchen the credit on this one.

Our entrees were delicious and filling. The Lobster Benedict featured a massive lobster claw, sauteed spinach and surprisingly the ideal amount of hollandaise sauce, typically it is hard to find a spot that doesn’t drown the meal in sauce. All of the items were on top of grilled ciabatta.  The Tomato and Goat Cheese Risotto was a rich and hearty meal, and since we decided to go later in the day it was the perfect afternoon choice.

We finished off the meal with coffee and Tiramisu, which was a hard decision because the sound of Apple Cobbler and Zeppoli (cinnamon fried dough) made my taste buds go crazy. But like everything else, the Tiramisu turned out to be the right choice.

The whole meal was impressive and I can say that with confidence. The staff was delightful and very insightful about everything that was being served. I was, however, surprised that more people weren’t there. I had a chance to speak with the Dining Room Manager Alex MacQuisten and he mentioned that it had been a slow day. Maybe that was due to the fact that it was later in the day or that this was the first brunch and not many people knew about it. But It certainly was not because of the food or service.

Regardless, I see business picking up and quickly. Bontá will be continuing brunch every Sunday from 11-4 until the summer season arrives and the 35-minute ride up the coast is definitely worth a Sunday morning visit.

For more information and to see other events they will be having visit Bontá’s website