Friday, March 4, 2011

Bondir, Newburyport Restaurant Week & N. Shore Picks of the Weekend

When you stroll into Bondir in Cambridge,  you don't feel like you're heading into a restaurant. In fact, you feel like you're walking into a beautiful dinner party at someone's home. On this particular, snowy, Sunday afternoon, it was more like walking into a cozy living room. There was a fire roaring in the fireplace next to a table where the restaurant's china, silverware and some of the wine is stored. It's homey, welcoming, and breathtakingly beautiful to the eye.

I will admit at this point that I'm a bad blogger when it comes to meals at amazing places. I'm too busy savoring every bite of food, or chatting about how wonderful it is with my table mates. I don't take enough photos, but I'm hoping what I did take for this Sunday Bloggers Lunch at Bondir will get you to make your reservation there quickly.

I was lucky enough to be invited by Maggie Batista of Eat Boutique to this lovely afternoon of delicacies presented by chef Jason Bond. Bondir focuses on locally-sourced, in-season, ingredients. Therefore, it's menu, it changes daily to suit what's available. It is truly what Bond does to it, however, that makes this tiny restaurant stand out from all the rest.

Won't you join us?

Ok, I'm fascinated by Bondir's place settings, they're beautiful. I love the homey atmosphere in this place, seriously warms the heart. I took my place at the table with Maggie, Laura and Rob of 2 Palaverers, David of Eat, Drink, RI, Heather of Food for Thought, Katy of and Rachael of Fork it Over Boston. I wish I could have chatted more with: Jen of Tiny Urban Kitchen, Shelby of Lady Gouda, Erin of Erin Cooks, Tania of The Musing Bouche and Lily of Consuming Lily.

Flounder roe and Saffron Risotto
Our end of the table ordered up a beautiful Italian white to go along with our first course (2009 Monte Faliesi, Campania, Italy, falanghina), which was a saffron risotto with a beautiful yellowtail flounder (from Scituate) with the roe served alongside. Seriously, every bite of that flounder roe simply melted. I have to give a shout-out to those biscuits as well, Laura of 2Palavers even said she hasn't had a biscuit that good since they lived in the South.

Wasabi Golden Turnips
This is where I turn into the bad blogger. The second course headed our way; Tamworth ham with collard greens, wasabi golden turnips and potatoes roasted in goose fat and finished with pig's blood. I will say up front, I'm not the hugest fan of ham, I never find it done well. This was perfect. It was brined beforehand, leaving it perfectly tender and moist. The collards were fabulous as were the crispy potatoes, but for me, the golden turnips went above and beyond them all.

Dessert was gobbled up too fast before I could capture it. It consisted of two dishes - wine poached pears with an almond cream, and a pear tart tatin with well-vermouth-spiked creme fraiche. Not too sweet, a perfect end to this amazing meal.

My only regret is not getting to speak to Bond one-on-one about this amazing meal. I will, no doubt, however, be back again.

A huge thank you to the folks at Bondir for offering up such an amazing meal and to Maggie for organizing such a great crowd for a snowy, Sunday afternoon.

Bondir is located at 279A Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139.
For more information: Bondir

Newburyport Restaurant Week 
I know everyone's talking about Boston's restaurant week, so how about trying something new? Sunday, March 20th to Thursday March 24th is Newburyport Restaurant Week. Restaurants from Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury are taking part. You've got your choice of lunch or dinner at some spots for $20 or $30 for a three-course meals. You can check out long-standing restaurants like the Grog, Michael's Harborside or Ten Center Street or check out new places like Ceia or the Stoplight Cafe. For the full list of restaurants taking part, check out the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce's website and make sure you make reservations early!

North Shore Bloggers Consortium Picks of the Weekend

Saturday, March 5th 

New England Wine and Spirits Beer Tasting
155 State Street 
Newburyport, MA, 01950
New England Wine and Spirits' weekly beer tasting features craft brews from the Sam Adams family this weekend. Check out their Sam Adams Story Brook Red, Sam Adams New World Tripel, Sam Adams American Kriek

Part of Portsmouth Beer Weekend 2011: 

Smuttynose Brewery Tour at 11am:  The tour lasts about an hour  and includes a complimentary tasting.  Smuttynose is located at 225 Heritage Avenue in Portsmouth. 

Smuttynose Pub Crawl:  We will begin by "Tapping the Barrels" at The Coat of Arms at 2p.m.  The barrels are three cask-conditioned Smuttynose beers, that's the most we've ever had on at one time in Portsmouth!  Stops at The Blue Mermaid, Fat Belly’s, Poco's, The River House, RiRa, and The Press Room will follow.

Sunday, March 6th

6:30pm – 10:00pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts, Market Square, Newburyport
Party@6:30 pm & Performance@8pm What better way to celebrate the fun and fanfare of Mardi Gras than at a party hosted by the Firehouse? Featuring the sizzling sounds of Doreen's Jazz New Orleans you will discover why this groups's moniker is "The Show Stealers." 
Part of Portsmouth Beer Weekend 2011:
Smuttynose Beer Geek Brunch at The Chef’s Table 
10 a.m.-2 p.m.    
177 State Street, Portsmouth, NH
An open-to-the-public brunch featuring Smuttynose Big Beers, vintage beers, and giveaways. Who doesn't love Baltic Porter with pancakes?

Check out what the other members of the North Shore Bloggers Consortium are doing this weekend!

Choices from all over New England at The Two Palaverers.
The wonderful Jane Ward has some great ideas, over at Food and Fiction. 
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1 comment:

Kate @ said...

I am bad at restaurant reviews, too! I eat and forget that I was supposed to remember every bit of the experience...and I forget to take pictures. :)