“Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container.” (Wikipedia)

A bento box in the Dominican Republic? Yes indeed, it was my first meal after arriving last week in DR. I’ve eaten picnics from bento boxes in Japan but it was a surprise in this part of the world. A new restaurant, CaffĂ© Leopard has opened close to our house. The special for the day was an Italian Bento Box. It sounded intriguing, it turned out to be attractive to look at and tasty. I hadn’t thought to bring my camera so a description is the best I can do.

Four red and black lacquered dishes filled a square box, also red and black. The first dish held a small portion of Eggplant Parmesan, beautifully seasoned and delicious. The next dish contained thin slices of roast beef with a mirepoix garnish. A slice of a pasta loaf was in the third dish. The pasta had been layered with a light creamy cheese sauce and garnished with fresh peas. The final dish held small tomatoes, cut in half and dressed lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A tiny square dish was in the center of the others and held freshly grated cheese. It was a memorable meal, delicious and pleasing to the eye.