Quietly marked sign of Bobo on corner of West 10th and 7th Ave -
easy to miss, but do not pass!
Eating at Bobo is like eating at the West Village town home of an eclectic librarian world traveler that subscribes to Elle Decor. So much thought, curating, and design went into every nook and cranny of this space. To enter, you walk down candlelit stairs to the basement level, greeted by a host and crowded bar area. The low ceiling, chalk renderings on old LPs of specials and bar menu, unique light fixtures and cozy seating make you feel right at home with all of your neighborhood best friends.
We were fortunately seated upstairs, and if you can, I highly recommend sitting upstairs - or when the weather permits, the back garden. Another candlelit set of stairs lead us to what I think was originally the living room/reading room of the town home. All of us, especially the girls, kept oohing and aahing over the little things: I love when I get to sit on a couch/banquette at a dinner table, dramatic chandeliers, little knick-knacks of figurines and clocks, books on display that you want to grab to flip open, wall collages of framed photographs, actual fireplaces, antique mirrors and weirdly enough, when the restauranteer takes time to personalize the restrooms. The room was too dimly lit for my camera, but perfect for an intimate date (just ask the couple making out next to us) or special group birthday dinner.
I know you get the message - I have my bags packed and am ready to move in and live upstairs - but was the food actually good? Yes! Unlike one of my roommates, I like for a restaurant to serve food that backs up the atmosphere, and despite rumors of new chefs and mixed reviews of the food, I thought the food to be outstanding; from bread basket to dessert. Seriously though, the bread was one of my favorite parts - artisinal bread dipped in olive oil is the perfect start to any meal. Between appetizers and entrees, there is a section titled "For the Table", which we joked should really just be titled "For the Person" because each item is served in single portions, canapé-esque. We ordered the ahi tuna with avacado and cilantro on some kind of cheese cracker that was delicious and gone in two bites, chicken liver toast, crispy fried pickles with rich crab dip, and sweet roasted shishito peppers (I think I counted 10 stems on my plate, whoops).
With seven different tastes, entree selections ranged from the seafood: seared scallops with roasted cauliflower, apple salad and cider reduction, the duo of cod with arugula, baby squash, and olive puree, and trout with apple puree, Brussels sprouts, and crispy sweet potoato; to the meat: bobo burger with gruyère cheese and leeks, the vegetarian coco burger (coco - branch of bobo promoting local and sustainable foods) of quinoa, beet relish and mustard. I had bites of all (surprise!) and everything was truly delicious, seasoned well and I was surprised by how much I liked the burger - love the twist of gruyère cheese and leeks.
Birthday Girl B dressed in the appropriately letter color BlueBobo is everything you hope for in a charming West Village restaurant - thoughtful and personal decor, bustling but not pretentious scene, a menu that offers dishes you cannot get everywhere else or make in your shoebox kitchen, and exceptional food. Come to think of it, Bobo is everything you hope for a in a West Village home too....dream big!
I could not resist one last photo - painted silhouettes on exposed brick wall to the back garden
181 W. 10th St., New York, NY 10014
at Seventh Ave. South
Sun - Wed: 6:00 - 11:00 p.m.
Thurs - Sat: Noon - 4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. - Midnight
Brunch: Sat & Sun: Noon - 4:00 p.m.