Where to Bondir in Concord, the follow-up to chef Jason Bond’s acclaimed Cambridge restaurant of the same name.
What for Bond’s food. Like its predecessor, the second Bondir offers a thoughtful and inventive menu built around regional, seasonal fish, meat, and produce. It also has a roaring fireplace and a cozy bar.
The scene Concord’s Bondir has the same refined rustic warmth as the Cambridge restaurant — there are wood tables, antique card catalogs, and firewood stowed beneath a bench. Brick walls are hung with red-and-white quilts and a vast, jewel-toned painting of fowl. In the restroom, armloads of decorative foliage are heaped beneath the sinks. It’s as if the restaurant were decorated by woodland sprites with great taste.
A bar area opens into a casual dining area, which leads to a more-formal room. At the center of it all is a bright, white-tiled open kitchen. The crowd feels post-Cambridge: some crunchy types, plenty of oatmeal sweaters, neck tattoos and delicate gold chains. Though the place has been open a little more than a week, the bartender calls patrons by name and everyone seems to recognize one another. “Concord is a small town,” she says.
What you’re eating If it’s fall, there must be turnips, apples, and squash on the menu. For the ultimate autumnal canvas, try the sweet potato custard tartine, like the molten chocolate cake of the root vegetable world. It comes with teff polenta, chestnuts, and other
Care for a drink? A Rhone blend or an apple-pear cider would be nice on a cold night. Or how about a solid Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or Negroni?
Overheard Talk about kids, Italy, sex, jazz, business, real estate and renovations, and manifesting the abundance of the universe. “I don’t know what the hell she tells her husband,” one man tells his wife. “They made an offer,” a woman tells her husband. “Are you still dating that woman?” the bartender asks a customer. “Which one?” he parries. A new drinker arrives. “Let me help you with that,” says the gallant man beside her, pulling out her stool. A staffer explains the menu to guests. About antelope: “Tastes like venison.” About several complicated menu descriptions: “At the end of the day, it’s just chicken and fish.”
24 Walden St., Concord. 978-610-6554. www.bondirconcord.com.Devra First can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.