Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Huge portions and veggies galore at Bond 45

On a cold and cloudy Wednesday, I ventured forth into Times Square for a fancy lunch out with my manager ES. We were both looking for a place we hadn't been to recently, so we ended up at Bond 45, an upscale Italian power-lunch place on 45th street and 7th Ave.

We passed their impressive vegetable antipasti spread on the way into the bustling restaurant. As we settled into our table, we ordered some sparkling water and looked over the huge menu. The waiter described many dishes at length, not-so-surreptitiously highlighting the more expensive ones in a thinly-veiled attempt to upsell us. Nonetheless, we forged ahead and placed our order.

Soon, a bread man (bread man!!!) stopped by our table. He offered us white Italian bread or focaccia; I of course went for a large square of tomato focaccia. It was delicious--studded with olives on the inside, topped with tomatoes and onions on top, moist and fluffy and scrumptious.

Huge brick of focaccia

ES had ordered a side of brussels sprouts from the antipasti bar, which arrived before our entrees. We both dug in, to our delight. The sprouts were cooked and seasoned but still firm; they kept company with bits of red onion and pepper, which provided a tasty foil. The sprouts were very filling and hearty, so I only ate a few, but they were quite good and surprisingly not too greasy.

Mmmmm, sprouts

A bit of a wait passed, and finally our entrees arrived. ES had selected the seafood pappardelle, which came with wide ribbons of pasta, crab, clams, shrimp, and langoustine. It was a huge portion, and she pronounced it delicious.

Beautiful, fish-tastic pasta

For my own main course, I had chosen the "Two Tuna Nicoise" salad minus both types of tuna. Despite our waiter's urgings that it wouldn't taste good without the tuna, I was confident it would be good, and I was right. It was a plate of shredded lettuce with tomatoes, rounds of hard-boiled egg, cucumbers, tiny beets, bits of potato, and the odd kalamata olive half. Add a couple of brussels sprouts in there and you've got yourself a good meal. I only wish there had been more olives-- but it was a huge portion already, and I couldn't finish what was there (imagine if there had been tuna as well! Holy cow).

Tuna, sans tuna

Both of us were stuffed (and we had to get back to work, darn), so we skipped dessert and headed out of there. Bond 45 is a very good lunch place, but it's prohibitively expensive for everyday meals. If you have the occasion to go, though, definitely take advantage of the antipasti selections, and try the mozzarella as well (they have an extensive and fresh selection, which I've had on previous visits). As it serves its power-lunch purpose quite well with huge portions of delicious food, I grant Bond 45 four Offset Spatulas.

Bond 45
154 W. 45th Street, near 7th Avenue

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