For the last two years, Tony Bonanno has delighted diners at his Madison restaurant with his traditional Italian food. After more than 30 years in the restaurant business, he has decided to retire. While Chef Tony will no longer be at the helm, the restaurant is about to begin a new chapter under new chef/owner Miranda Durrer- Davis.
Bonanno said the decision hasn’t been easy but the time has come for him to get away from the restaurant business.
“I am sad to be letting her go,” said Bonanno. “But I know the restaurant will be in good hands. A lot of the customers are upset but much will be the same. Miranda is planning to keep the same name, same menu, and the same sauces. Nothing should really change. I have been working with her to make the transition. It’s just time for me to do something different. The restaurant business is seven days a week. I’m ready to go fishing.”
The Main Street eatery has been open for several decades and was previously known as The Madison Inn before Bonanno took over in February 2017. The Italian immigrant brought his years of experience as an executive chef and restaurant owner to the Madison business and has expanded both the cuisine and the clientele.
New owner Durrer-Davis also comes from a strong background in the industry and has most recently been a chef and partner in Olive’s Grill, a Ruckersville establishment. The Spotsylvania resident, who is originally from western Orange County, had been looking for a business opportunity in this area. Durrer-Davis is thrilled to take over a successful business and hopes to keep the service and menu consistent with what has brought the Bonanno family success.
“I’m so excited about this,” said Durrer-Davis. “The restaurant business has been my passion for 18 years. Having my own restaurant has always been a dream and this will be my first time on my own. It will be my baby. For now, nothing is changing. I’ve learned how to make Chef Tony’s dishes and Bonanno’s will continue to have the same name, same menu and the same service. I don’t plan to change a thing. Tony has stayed on until March 1 to get me started and I’m hopeful that he will come back on some weekends to work in the kitchen too.”
That seems to be a likely possibility. As much as Bonanno is ready to retire, he isn’t ready to hang up his apron yet.
“I hope I’ll be able to come work, maybe even a couple days a week,” said Bonanno. “As much as I need a break, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get totally away from it. Right now, I’m going to go fishing.”