Monday, May 7, 2012

Bond, Langham Hotel, Boston

One of the things that I have really enjoyed about food blogging over the last few years is getting to check out places that, for whatever reason, just weren't on my radar previously.  Last week I had the opportunity to check out Bond, located in the Langham Hotel in the heart of downtown Boston.  The Langham is, on its own, a presence.  It is one of those hotels that very quietly evokes a sense of awe when entering it, it's stately and elegant nature demanding just a bit of reverence.  I was invited in to sample some new menu items at Bond, their signature lounge on site.

The Langham is set in a former bank, and so the name Bond refers to the bank notes, rather than a certain 007.  Set in the former Member's Court, the room boasts the original 20 ft ceilings and still holds the banks emblem in its floor.  Outfitted now with gleaming chandeliers, and strewn with comfortable couch like seating, it is a place to relax, enjoy a cocktail, listen to live music and nibble on some food. 

At Bond though, much like the rest of the Langham who is famous for their Chocolate Brunch, food is not nearly an afterthought.  Throughout the evening we were treated to a variety of their menu items.  We started with their Vietnamese Spring Rolls, delicate rice paper stuffed with a lovely mix of shrimp, chicken, noodles, herbs and a spicy peanut sauce.  Each roll had delicious mix of flavors from the fresh herbs to the nuttiness of the peanut sauce, and the varying textures made each bite exciting. 

Next to the table were Stracchino Cheese and Heirloom Tomatoes served simply with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.  I loved the unique twist here on a classic dish, the replacement of Stracchino for Mozzarella brought in a tanginess that paired so nicely with the acidity of the tomatoes.  When paired then with luxurious olive oil and sweet balsamic every flavor worked together.

We were then treated to large bowls of crispy fried Point Judith Calamari.  The calamari were paired with sweet chili sauce, black sesame seeds and cilantro.  I loved the Asian influence with this-the sweet and spicy chili with the unique flavor of the black sesame seeds and the freshness of the cilantro.  The calamari were nice and crisp, not over cooked and held up to the wonderful flavors of the sauce. 

In quick succession the servers then delivered beautiful baby corn that they had grilled with Espelette, Cotija Cheese, a touch of aioli and lime juice.  I have never been a big fan of baby corn- normally I avoid it.  It always seems either flavorless, or is pickled for some reason and it just becomes unappealing.  Bond however found the way to serve it.  Grilling it brought out the natural corn flavors that made it taste more like late summer corn on the cob than its normal drab state and the Mexican style accompaniments were the perfect addition.  I could have eaten the full tray of these.

When the next dish was served however made me thrilled I hadn't filled up on the other dishes.  Lobster and Chorizo Quesadilla's with Queso Blanco and sweet corn were ushered to our table without nearly the fanfare they deserved.  Little towers of crisped tortilla stuffed to the gills with large pieces of fresh lobster, the hint of spicy chorizo and creamy cheese- these were a fabulous interpretation of a quesadilla.  The lobster pieces were far bigger than I would have anticipated and made for a very satisfying small plate. 

Sweet soy and ginger chicken wings were next to the table, impressive in their own delivery, chicken lollipops were glistening with their glaze and proudly showed off thin slices of green onion and candied ginger.  The meat was succulent and well cooked, and the sweet and tangy glaze made for an amazingly delicious wing. 

We rounded out our savory tasting with a flat bread pizza topped with Great Hill Blue Cheese, grilled stone fruit, pancetta and fresh arugula.  The combination of tangy blue cheese with pancetta and arugula is one of my all time favorite combinations- the salt and the cheese and the peppery burst-it is delicious.  Bond's flat bread was crisp and chewy all at once and was a lovely base for the pizza.

As if we had room, the helpful waitstaff began setting dessert in front of us.  We were able to sample the Strawberry Rhubarb Gratin, which paired a Marscapone Cheese mousse with a strawberry rhubarb compote, mint and a black pepper sable, the Chocolate Tasting plate, which contained a smoked chocolate cake, a milk chocolate powder, white chocolate creme brulee and a Guanaja ice cream, and finally the Sticky Toffee Pudding served with brown butter ice cream and a Booker's Whiskey caramel.  Though all of the desserts were delicious, my favorite of the bunch was the Sticky Toffee Pudding.  The pudding was rich and sweet, the ice cream had that wonderful buttery flavor and the caramel complimented it with just a touch of whiskey.  The chef had added a few walnuts for texture and the end result was simply luscious. 

Throughout our evening a Sinatra style band played in the background, business men and women lounged in relaxed meetings and end of day drinks, and an air of elegance hung in the air.  Bond is a very special space in Boston, a great place to enjoy a cocktail, indulge in very tasty food, and enjoy the ambiance that surrounds you.


Delicious Dishings said...

I couldn't believe all the lobster in those quesadillas either. They put out a great spread!

Jen said...

Sounds delicious. Bummer I missed it. The quesadilla looks great.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Everyone wrote such awesome reviews! I'll have to get to Bond again soon - and make sure to order some food there!

Kristen said...

the only thing i was not truly a fan of was that baby corn. (I should have given you the plate from my table!) ;) otherwise, i completely agree with your assessment of the dishes. so delicious!

Sarah Beth said...

So sad I missed this! You'll have to let me know of any other fun events coming up!!

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