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Bondir Restaurant Brings 'Positive Message' to Cambridge

By Kelly Church

With so many restaurants in Cambridge, MA, Jason Bond, chef and owner of Bondir Restaurant, is carving out a unique niche for his business. The longtime chef has worked decades to perfect his culinary technique and reach what he has achieved: an upscale restaurant featuring five-course meals while he directly works with farmers and even expands his own garden.

"Bondir Restaurant offers a unique experience for our guests and aspires to bring a positive message to our community and our industry," Bond says. "Bondir is a personal expression of who is cooking in the kitchen (hence my name is literally on the door) and the people taking care of you in the dining room. We start the day with the best ingredients we can find and write the menu from there, cooking with honesty and personality."

Raised in Wyoming and Kansas, Bond grew up around farming, which no doubt is a guiding factor in his own farm: Bondir Gardens. The garden sits on two certified organic acres in Carlisle, MA and utilizes bio-intensive and sustainable farming techniques to provide the restaurant with herbs, vegetables and fruits. Every season, the chef's garden expands to incorporate more crops to use in the changing menu.

The menu is small, featuring an even shorter menu on Mondays, but items are simple, unique and fresh. On the current seasonal menu is a five-course meal including: Daikon Crudo with meyer lemonl; Meaty Carrots with wheatgrass, buckwheat and horseradish; Charred Winter Squash with salsa verdi, pistachio and an apple balsamic; Roasted Hake with crimini mushrooms; and Olive Oil Cake with marshmallow, apricot and basil. Bistro Mondays is when you'll see a condensed menu starting at 5 p.m. This shorter three-course meal features the Daikon Crudo, Roasted Hake and Olive Oil Cake at a fraction of the price.

"I cook in a way that imitates how I grew up in Wyoming," Bond says. "Both of my grandmothers gardened and preserved, and therefore cooked according to what was at hand. I try and do the same to paint a natural portrait of life where we are right now, provided for by the special farmers, fishermen and others who I work with. We also offer a peace of mind from knowing where all of our ingredients were grown and by whom. That trust is a big part of what we offer."

Bondir Restaurant is also a reflection of its location, which is central to key places in Cambridge and attracts people from all over the world. Within walking distance to Central, Kendall and Inman Squares, Bond says it's common to see both locals and tourists walking, biking and enjoying the area every day. To match the locale, Bond describes his storefront as a simple, but welcoming place.

"You first enter into a small salon with a raised hearth fireplace," Bond says. "It's a space to have a pot of tea or a glass of wine, just a stop on the way by or a warm up before dinner. This is boarded by a copper topped harvest table with chinaware and crystal, bottles of amaro and chilling wines in a huge copper kettle. Just beyond is the small 26 seat, nine table dining room and my grandfather's sketch- as the focal piece of art in the simple room."

Bondir Restaurant accepts reservations, which can be made by calling the restaurant or reserving your table online. Walk-ins are welcome on Bistro Mondays for the shortened menu.

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