The Bonneville: Fresh and Seasonal Done Right
New chefs in town throw down
By Kate Thornberry, 11:22AM, Thu. Jun. 6, 2013
“Go get some, it’s my lamb!” urged Jeff Ruyle of IO Ranch Lamb, so I went and got a tiny serving. The lamb meatballs were meaty and greaseless, and paired with asparagus and spring peas and onions, the dish really worked. When I asked one of the two chefs how the meatballs had been seasoned, he explained, “Just salt and pepper. The lamb was so good, it didn’t need anything else.”
That’s when I knew I was talking to an exceptional chef. Even now, most would still be unable to resist adding unnecessary seasoning. The chef I was speaking to was Chris Hurley, and the other chef he was working with is his wife, Jennifer Costello. Together they have opened The Bonneville (202 W. Cesar Chavez), a sleek, upscale little place just down from City Hall. When I was invited to a Media Night of cocktail and menu tasting, I wasn't about to pass it up.
Every item drew heavily on local, seasonal flavors, such as the Heirloom Tomato Tartlets with Herbed WaterOak Farm Chevré and Purple Cherokee Tomatoes from Markley Family Farm. The simplicity of the flavors, ripe, sweet tomato with tart fresh cheese, were greatly enhanced by the airy puff pastry that served as a base.
The carrots for the Roasted Carrot, Fennel, and Orange Soup were grown by Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Topped with a few drops of Spicy Orange Chili Oil, this was a perfectly balanced concoction and one of the best roasted carrot soups I have ever tasted.
By far the most popular dish presented was one that is already going onto the summer menu: Grilled Pizza featuring IO Ranch Lamb, Spiced Eggplant Puree and Creamy Lemon Yogurt Drizzle. The blending of such Mediterranean flavors with the concept of a grilled pizza is perfect. Lamb, eggplant, and yogurt on a pizza is just original enough to intrigue, and sublime enough to entrance.
202 W. Cesar Chavez, 512/428-4643
Monday-Wednesday, 4:30-10:00pm; Thursday-Saturday, 4:30-11:00pm; Sunday, 10:30am-10:00pm