I should have posted this sooner, and I don’t know why it’s taken so long. Maybe it’s because I don’t think the photos do the meal justice, or that I felt completely uncomfortable taking these photos in the first place. It was a somewhat magical evening, an “experience” if you will, and I almost refrained from taking photos at all in fear of ruining the mood, but fortunately my date encouraged me to.
I first went to Bondir back in September, right around the time Bon Appetite Magazine named it one of America’s Top Ten New Restaurants of 2011. And after trying it out for myself, I remeber I couldn’t help but think “well yeah, DUH!” To be frank, the place pretty much borders on perfection. Flawless on all accounts and totally impressive in every way imaginable. Intimate and relaxed with impeccable cuisine that is both intricate yet simple at the same time. It has a certain delicacy and mystique. They know what they’re doing without trying too hard; the kind of place you start planning your next visit before you’ve even finished your first meal. And, as the title suggests, it is a great place for a date (or any other occasion for that matter).
The menu itself is a bit of a masterpiece, a constantly changing list of Jason Bond’s take on sustainable modern American cuisine. The dishes on the menu, which change daily, are the result of what seems like a culinary art project made from the best materials (in this analogy that would be local New England produce and game). Most of the menu items are offered in a half or full-size portion as well, allowing you to have your meal the way you like it; apps then entrees then dessert, or turn it into a tapas-style tasting extravaganza — which is obviously what I did as a result of wanting everything listed and fearing it may be seasonally out of style and no longer offered by my next visit.
In reality I could go on and on, but I’ll leave some of the magic untold and show you what I most enjoyed when I ate there. Unfortunately you may not see these dishes again until early next fall, but it’ll give you an idea of his style. And to see what’s on the current menu, you can check out an archive of everything they’ve been serving up since the opened a little under a year ago.
We started with the Sweet Corn and Potato Chowder topped with caramelized onions(above) and the Heirloom Tomato Salad served with pea greens, peppercress, radishes, cucumber, smoked hazelnuts, scamorza and a cabernet vinaigrette (below). Both were wildly delicious, fresh and light.
For entrees we ordered half-sizes of the the Anise Hyssop Tagliatelle which came paired with confit goose, bolete mushrooms, Napa cabbage and fresh ricotta (above) and the Farmed and Foraged Summer Vegetables which came roasted and Glacé served with a teff polenta and mustard oil (below). The vegetables blew my mind, especially since I’d made roasted vegetables myself earlier that week, which were quickly put to shame after trying these. The pasta provided another “wow” moment, cooked at an ideal al dente with a hint of liquorice flavor in the pasta. The mushrooms and goose were tender and savory and the overall dish left me totally elated.
For dessert we ordered the Peach Trifle with brown butter génoise, vermouth and vanilla, topped with a thyme-buttermilk ice cream and a meringue brulée in a Baked Alaska style (pictured above). And then there was th Roasted Red Pum Crostada served with pistachio ice cream and rose hip mousseline (below). The former was rich and decadent, the latter sweet and tart. The perfect size. The perfect juxtaposition. The perfect end to an amazing delightful evening.
The biggest thing I can say about the food is that the chefs here don’t overwork it. You can taste the freshness of every ingredient. Lightly seasoned and cooked to perfection, everything is handled with an absurd level of quality and care. You can see the fun and personality in each dish, and taste it’s uniqueness. The plums are like those picked from your own garden, if you had one, and bread fresh out of the oven. The inside of the dining room lookes like the inside of a farmhouse (but cuter!) which couldn’t be more appropriate for the whole farm-to-table dining experience.
279 Broadway St.