By Jamie Lamonde | Photos By Jim Klousia 0
Celebrating 10 Years of Home-Cooking
When you enter Bunky’s Café on Atwood, it’s like stepping into Grandma’s house. Speckled with photos, artwork and heirlooms, the connection to the past is palatable. Simply put: it just feels like home. And it tastes like home too.
This year, Bunky’s Café is celebrating 10 years of bringing eaters Italian and Mediterranean cuisine—homemade style. But Bunky’s Café goes way back.
Rewind to the 1930s: Vito “Bunky” and Ninfa Capadona founded the restaurant in Madison’s Italian-American Greenbush neighborhood where it stood on “Spaghetti Corner” until the 1970s (it was one of the first places in Madison to serve pizza). But then it was replaced with Pino’s Restaurant and Bunky’s Nightclub until they shut about a decade later.
Fast-forward to 2004: Vito “Bunky” and Ninfa’s great-granddaughter, Teresa Pullara, and her husband, Rachid Ouabel, opened the Bunky’s Café we know (and adore) today. This time around, the café brought us Mediterranean and Italian flavors with a local twist and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options to boot.
For this installment of Back of the House, Bunky’s Café’s general manager Tina Calantoni graciously hosted Edible Madison’s visit. We spent time in the kitchen with Chef Mohamed El Bakkaliand and his crew as they served up the light-heartedness, smiles and love of homecooking that defines Bunky’s Café. But you’ll have to taste it for yourself.
You can visit Bunky’s Café at two locations in Madison: 2425 Atwood Avenue or 5440 Willow Road. In addition to their restaurants, they also offer catering services.
Jamie is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Edible Madison, a free, quarterly publication that celebrates the abundance of local foods in Southern Wisconsin.
Jamie graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, VA with a B.A. in English Literature. She lives in the beautiful "Driftless Region" of Southwest Wisconsin and continues to be inspired, and inspire others, through the organic and local food and farming movement.