It’s Fall Preview day here at Grub Street Boston and we’ll be bringing you mouthwatering news and photos of the season’s biggest openings all day long. Up first, Jason Bond fills us in on all the details for his forthcoming Cambridge restaurant Bondir, slated to open in October.
It takes a lot of guts to leave a restaurant where your cooking has earned accolades from publications like the New York Times and Travel & Leisure, not to mention an ultra-rare A from the Herald, but in departing Beacon Hill Bistro to open Bondir, Jason Bond has done just that. But don’t think it was a snap decision. “I’ve been a chef for twenty years now, knowing that I wanted my own place. I’ve been looking at spaces causally for ages, and seriously for several years. I’ve pursued a few, and they fell through. I took this space because I could afford to do it on my own with no partners.”
Bondir’s home at 279 Broadway was most recently occupied by Con Sol. It’s tiny (28 seats) and located a bit off the beaten path (technically part of Area 4, the restaurant sits between Central, Kendall, and Inman Squares), but Bond embraces the challenges. “It’s on Broadway, so it’s right between Harvard Square and Back Bay. Thousands of cars pass it every day and we’ll have a nice mural, so hopefully, they’ll stop and come in.” Once inside, they’ll find a cozy space brighter than Con Sol was. There’s a fireplace and Bond is bringing in some wooden banquettes.
“I’ve been calling Bondir’s cuisine Modern American. I’m trying to make a Cambridge restaurant, whatever that means,” laughs Bond. What it means, for now at least, is a menu that changes daily, based on ingredients. “I think the quality of my ingredients is a big part of what separates me from other chefs. Bondir won’t be locavore per se, but my priority is finding the best things I can and most of those are from around here, because they’re so fresh.”
“I have a neighborhood clientele at Beacon Hill Bistro and I want the same thing here,” Bond tells us. “Of course, different people live in Cambridge than in Beacon Hill.” To that end, prices will stay reasonable: a la carte entrees will stick in the $20s and Bond plans to offer a daily prix fixe: two courses for $28 or three for $32. He’ll also be offering a larger tasting menu.
Since Bondir is so small, Bond will, at least at the beginning, do all the cooking himself. “I might eventually hire another cook, but it’s only 28 seats, so if I pace it at eight or ten people every half hour, I can do it myself and make sure everything is exactly the way I want it. We’ll start out with just dinner six nights a week, and I can be in the kitchen all day.”
Bondir will offer a well-curated and locally-focused beer list of about six brews, as well as 20 or so wines. The restaurant will take reservations and Bond eventually hopes to add lunch.
Bondir will open for dinner on October 1 at 279A Broadway in Cambridge.