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The Early Word on Bonhomie, Central Austin’s Buzzy Brasserie

Read on for the good and bad news on affordable prices, banana splits, and cheeseburgers

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Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Central Austin got a new casual neighborhood restaurant when Bonhomie opened its doors under the talented eye of Philip Speer. Aiming to be a French bistro with an American diner twist, the restaurant serves up pommel rosti with assorting toppings, roasted chicken, salads, banana split profiteroles, and more.

The food — The eclectic menu includes Speer’s takes on French classics, such as the now-popular croissant with pho broth meant for dipping, and soothing gnocchi, as Zagat’s Veronica Meewes pointed out. She appreciated the range of the pomme rosti “from delicate [...] to decadent.” Claudia Alarcon with Culturemap deemed that dish as the “best hash browns we’ve ever had — crunchy outside, soft on the inside.” Her accolades didn’t stop there, singling out the bun on the cheeseburger and the chocolate cake too. Local Sugar highlighted the cheeseburger as a standout, as well.

The desserts — Since Speer, a noted pastry chef, is involved, Meewes advised: “Leaving room for dessert goes without saying.” The Chronicle pointed to the banana split profiteroles, calling it "unique," while Local Sugar added the apple tatin to its must-try list.

The drinks — Alarcon called the beverage menu thoughtful, and predicted its future: evolution: “The list will change and grow as the eatery matures and finds its niche among visitors.” She's a fan of the grenadine and ginger beer, both made in-house.

The prices — “The prices at Bonhomie reflect” the restaurant’s neighborhood focus, stated Meewes.

The space — While the layout stays true to a classic diner, Chronicle reveals that the interior was inspired by Speer’s own motorcycle, “resulting in a stark, efficient interior.” Yelper Errol M portrayed the space as “pretty much perfect — loud, vibrant, and everything you expect in the newest [and] coolest restaurant in Austin.”

The overall experience — Meewes pointed to the new restaurant as the place to “catch up with old friends and dig into inventive new dishes.” Meanwhile, while the Chronicle pointed out there were some early missteps (echoed by a handful of Yelpers, too), the writer believed those stumbles will be addressed, adding that “Speer’s resolution, resilience, talent, and hard work have paid off big time.”

Bonhomie [Closed]

5350 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78756 Visit Website