Just when you think dining around Times Square in Manhattan would possibly have you ended up in a typical tourist trap restaurant, it is not until you step into Bond 45 for its sprawling cultural period restaurante décor that excites you with its rustic Italian trattoria cooking from its busy kitchen. mylifestylenews writes.
Quite often when you come to Times Square in New York City and ask for recommendations where to dine and most of the time people will tell you avoid eating in Times Square, especially in those franchised restaurants. The theatre district in midtown of New York City has its very own character and it is such a lively precinct to be in. With hundreds of restaurants to choose from and most of them catering to the theatre crowd that offer prix fixe menus or standard tourist’s food just to satisfy your temporary hunger. One of our recent finds was Bond 45 that delivers not only tasty and truthful Italian flavours but also to enjoy its vibrant ambience and vibe the moment you were being seated as well as its fast-paced service.
Situated right in the heart of the theatre district on west 46 street between 7th and 8th avenue and across from the New York Marquis hotel, from the exterior you are given a sense of something out of the ordinary, a sense that you will be taken back in time. The surprise is that you are about to step into a space that is akin to a art nouveau Milano café/bistro with each interior design element perfectly chosen and perfectly in place.
Once you are inside the restaurant, you are immediately carried away by its bustling ambience. The main bar slash antipasto salad bar is the elephant in the room, a gigantic overhead signature light fixture decorated with art deco glassed lamp shades and also an eye-catching nostalgic signboard with big “American Breakfast Buffet Italian Style” wordings that indicating what’s on the table.
Almost like dining in a marketplace from its busy chattering ambience and happening crowded during lunch hours frequented not only by the walk-ins who stay in lines for their table to be ushered as well as the tourists and locals alike who had their reservation secured ahead. A naked female bronze statue also takes centre place holding an a bunch of golden wine globets in the bar area while looking back at the rear dining area. There is some seating at the window front looking out on west 46 street, but the main dining room lies at the rear, with two rows of saloon banquette seatings down the centre and banquette stalls on each side – the central section delineated by classic old style lamps and the outer sections by old brass wall-mounted lamps and aged patina mirrors lining the walls.
The catch is, this restaurant chain has only been in existence since 2016 and this location was only opened some 18 months ago after moving most of the original fixtures and fittings early last year from its previous location, which was an old theatre. That explained why the design and deco was done intentionally and built to look old and the entire design and décor will have your hat off for the effort that they have put in to have you momentary travel back in time or seemingly dining in a movie set.
It is very easy to get into the swanky mood in an ambience like this. The first thing you’ll notice on being seated at a wall booth are all the name plates above each booth representing luminaries of theatre, from actors to directors and designers, such as Irene Gandy, Many Patinkin, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Angelica Houston to name but a few.
The stairway at the entrance also extended the dining and an additional bar downstairs with elevated dining sections surrounding the cozy indoor “courtyard”. It is a completely different ambience and mood comparing to upstairs’ art deco design and was also packed with diners over lunch.
The menu follows a classic structure with a wide range of selection including steak, seafood and an antipasti bar which is a must order with freshly made market vegetables daily and out from the kitchen from time to time while it lasts. We wanted to have a reasonable sampling of a number of courses (especially from the antipasto bar), but keeping in mind portion sizes can be bigger than you think. We both started with Antipasto - having a choice of three vegetable plate each, you can also have five at a different cost.
Delicious selection of starters from the Antipasto bar.
We sampled the grilled-asparagus, peas and prosciutto, Bond bacon potatoes x 2, roasted seasonal vegetables, charred broccolini. The selection was superbly presented, abundant in flavor and a great start that whetted our appetite.
<Prosciutti di Parma Pizza>
This was followed by a Prosciutti di Parma pizza with arugula salad, parmigiano reggiano, fennel, burrata mozzarella. The pizza was baked with a thin crispy crust (which we loved) and rich and the toppings were piquant, it was difficult to resist.
<Chicken Pepperoni Parmigiana>
The chicken was sinfully topped with a seabed of thinly sliced pepperoni and melted with parmigiana cheese. The thick cut of meaty chicken was fried to its tenderness and very juicy flesh that can be gently sliced. Each bite was so moreish and this dish was such a hit. Warning! An extremely rich dish served in more than a generous portion for the price of US$29, a totally to go for entrée if you prepare for a big meal.
<Our Famous Chocolate Mousse”>
While our stomach was saying no to dessert, our sweet tooth was saying don’t miss out on the “Our Famous Chocolate Mousse” – 100% shaved cocoa on a huge dollop of chocolate ganache. To our surprise, it was not overtly sweet, with just the right balance and the shaved cocoa added a nice texture and crunchiness contrast to the super smooth ganache. This stunningly decadent dessert is a total evil on calories gain but to die for, simply must try!
Front of house service was fabulous from the moment we arrived, right up to our departure with the precise speedy service and delivery, not only to our table but also others. There is certainly a passion in the culinary team and it was delightful to see that the management smoothens the operation and line staff taking turns to complete tasks in an incredibly busy lunch time. They all exuded a passion for what they do, which totally complemented the high quality of food. When you are in Times Square next, whether you are going to see a show or want a dining experience that transports you way above the ordinary, Bond 45 is an utter delight and shall appear on your radar, it simply reminds you how wonderful dining experiences should be.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 5/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
Interior & Ambience
"Our Famous Chocolate Mousse”
221 W 46th St, New York
Tel:+1 212 869 4545
Tel:+1 212 869 4545
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.