When you walk into Bobo on the second floor of a brownstone right off 7th Avenue, it's like walking into someone's apartment, circa 1900. It's filled with antique furniture, but not in a bad way. It's candlelit, intimate and you are instantly transported from the chaos on 7th avenue into another place and time.
When we went at 9pm, the restaurant was surprisingly only semi filled. For appetizers, we had crispy veal sweetbread (with pear, guanicale, collard greens & verjus) and potato gnocchi (with smoked bacon, cranberries & pecorino). The appetizers were great, especially the sweetbread, it was deep fried but not greasy, and the collard greens were delicious. The potato gnocchi was creamy & tasty, albeit a teeny bit too salty. We were off to a great start, I was excited about the entrées.
By the time the entrées arrived, it was close to 10pm and the restaurant was buzzing. In fact, every table was filled, and it got louder and louder. For entrées, we had duo of cod (with crispy pork, pickles & hazelnut mustard) & the skate wing (with sunchoke fondue, broccoli rabe & pomegranate). I have to say, for me, the entrées fell flat. The cod was served in two ways: fried cod fritter and seared cod. I just came back from Portugal so the fried cod fritter did not impress (the Portugese does it so much better), and the seared cod was forgettable. The skate wing was marginally better but unimaginative, it did not impress.
By the time we finished the entrées, I was eager to get out of the restaurant because the English dude next to us who was trying very hard to impress his girlfriend's mom was SO LOUD I could hear his entire life story. I was in the annoyed mode, plus the service was getting lousier and lousier as they incapable of coping with the volume. Coffee, while good, took about half an hour to arrive, and the quaint antique chairs, while charming to begin with, were starting to hurt my dining companion's larger posterior (in his own words).
The bar downstairs was also hopping when we left, maybe Bobo is a better place for drinks, food wise, I think it has a long way to go.
Interestingly, they billed us $1 each for tap water described as "water charity" on the bill, which was puzzling. Later I read in nymag.com that the proceeds go to build wells in Ethiopia. Now I wish more restaurants would do that...
More Bobo Pictures
Address: Bobo, 181 W. 10th St., New York, NY 10014
6 months ago