Local Spotlight

Bambara: From Power Lunches to Custom Catering

Where can you get a custom dining experience for a fair price this holiday season? One local restaurant fits the bill.


‘Tis the season … to entertain, shop, socialize and dine in style. Want to enjoy a before-or-after-theater party? Stage a special family celebration? Or delight business associates with a holiday-themed soiree? Bambara can help you dazzle, delight, impress, and surprise.

SteakFrites“We love welcoming our guests this festive time of year,” says Guy Wheelwright, general manager of the prestigious restaurant located on the corner of Second South and Main Street in the renovated lobby of the historic Continental Bank Building.

Private events are given priority in the “Chairman’s Office,” a restored version of the bank’s 1924 board room, featuring re-purposed trestle tables and polished wood paneling as mood-setting accents. The main dining area, however, has a more informal feel with booths in oversized black-and-white upholstery interspersed with tall painted tables gathered round the centrally located exhibition kitchen, where you can watch the chefs in action.

On this particular cold and overcast November day, my friend and I both ordered the Power Lunch Special — an offering that includes soup, entree, and cookie for just $13, and for which Bambara has won numerous past awards–which we thought would team up well with the justly acclaimed blue cheese house-cut potato chips that we ordered as an additional appetizer. The potatoes are pan-fried and hot with the blue cheese having melted into a pungent topping. It’s more than enough to serve two, although it’s up to you whether to eat them with a fork or use your fingers.Bambara Pork Porterhouse FULL RES

The soup arrived in simple white china bowls perched on a plate buffered with a folded linen napkin and accompanied with a full complement of nicely weighted flatware. My companion started with the silky corn bisque flavored with jonah crab while I opted for creamed tomato soup flavored with fennel. The two dishes ­— one smooth and yellow, one red and tangy — provided a nice contrast to the weather outside.

The clear choice of entree was the Daily House Special which consisted on this afternoon of flank steak grilled perfectly to order accompanied by bacon-wrapped new potatoes and fresh French-cut green beans, all swimming in a red-wine reductase jus. Pretty as well as generous; be warned, the portions at Bambara large and filling.

Our waiter was helpful, knowledgeable, and attentive. I never felt rushed or intruded upon although he was easy to attract when we needed refills of the tea. He brought the meal-ending warm, gooey, chocolate-chip cookie–as large as a small pancake and tasting faintly of mint–with the check. Just over $43 for two people.

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