Unlike fine china that sits around lazily collecting dust to trade for baseball cards, fine dining has a go-getter attitude that begs for action. Give in to the will of fancy fare with today's deal: for $25, you get $60 worth of contemporary American cuisine and drinks at Bonterra Dining & Wine Room in the South End District near Uptown.
Executive Chef Cory Sharpe has been kneading the menu to the perfect consistency over the past nine years. Engine revvers include barbecue duck spring rolls ($10) and Bonterra's famous fried lobster tail ($17). Or start with an assortment of calamari, crab cakes, and spring rolls for four people ($44). Main dishes are masterfully prepared steaks, seafood, and other meats; Bonterra's meats are prepped inside specialized wood-burning grills that reach solar temperatures to lock in succulent flavors. Like a marinated phoenix emerging from the fire, the added ingredient of flame creates a synergetic marriage of tastes unachievable through other cooking methods. Sup on an 8-ounce fire-roasted center-cut filet (served with horseradish mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, $32) or glazed Australian lamb rack (with whipped pears and parsnips, $27). Seafood options include scallops ($27), blackened mahi mahi ($26), and rainbow trout ($28). Vegetarians and herbivoyeurs can peruse a succinct lineup of salads ($7–$8). The extensive wine list provides a glass for any occasion. Celebrate with the dark, crimson tones of a Beau Terre merlot ($13), mourn the passing of another day with a sparkling prosecco ($8), or do both at the same time while you sip a glass of spontaneous-mustache-generating Courvoisier XO cognac ($23).
Neatly tucked inside a 110-year-old renovated church, this upscale establishment is a sight to behold or be beheld in by those beholding the sight. White walls, tall windows, and lofty ceilings surround diners in a seemingly infinite space, where courteous servers whisk plates to polished tables and whisk hunger away from merry men and women. Reservations are required.
- That Bonterra has one of the top wine programs in the city has only helped make this a destination dining spot. The menu features house-made pâtés, an extensive cheese list to match with wines by the glass, and dishes that, under executive chef Cory Sharpe, seem worldly while retaining Southern touches at times (Niman Ranch pork chop with braised collard greens and cider brown butter)…Desserts are made in-house by pastry chef Celeste Rackley, whose nightly cheesecake selections, crème brûlée and molten chocolate cake are hard to resist.
- Best lamb we've ever had. The black pepper gnocchi that came with it was outstanding. – OpenTable user who dined on 01/26/2010
- Two of us had the fried lobster tail, which was amazing, and the duck and scallops were also delicious. The Magnolia salad was perfect; they gave you a large hunk of goat cheese on top. – ncmaylo, Citysearch
- Excellent restaurant. Cuisine was superb. Atmosphere was stately and elegant. Service was pleasant and knowlegable [sic]. Incredible wine list! – Pcpar31, Urbanspoon
Bonterra Dining & Wine Room
Within a renovated, century-old former church, experienced chefs helm a wood-burning brick oven designed and built by Aztec Indians in the American Southwest. Atop live cedar and hickory planks, executive chef Cory Sharpe roasts a seasonal selection of fresh seafood and high-quality steaks and chops to a level of tenderness normally reserved for braised greeting cards. His elegantly prepared entrees emerge into the contemporary dining room, where tall windows and chandeliers cast light across the historic building's high ceilings and white columns. Servers can also shuttle meals to the verdant outdoor patio, which sits atop a stone walkway shaded by towering trees.
Not only has Bonterra's owner and managing partner John Duncan helped his neighborhood by revitalizing this once flourishing community center, he also strives to source ingredients from local farmers. In addition to fresh, seasonal fare, Bonterra's menu features artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and spreads designed to pair with selections from an expansive wine cellar that bursts with more than 200 vintages served by the glass or bottle.