Bonhomie is a name you won’t forget. To the average American, it sounds like a French word (bonsoir, bon voyage) mixed with homie. People commonly use homie, like friend or dude, in the phrase, “What’s up, homie?” While I was making the reservation for dinner at Bonhomie, I sat there thinking to myself, why is the restaurant named after the mesh of these two random words?
Thankfully my good friend Merriam-Webster cleared it up for me. Bonhomie means good-natured, easy friendliness. English speakers borrowed bonhomie from the French, where the word was created from bonhomme, which means “good-natured man”: bon, meaning “good,” and homme, meaning “man.” So I actually wasn’t too far off, but hey, who’s keeping score? After settling that urgent linguistic matter, hubster and I went here for date night. You can find my full review below.
Located off of Burnet Road, this restaurant is just four minutes away from Mopac Expressway in Allandale. You can park in the retail space of the building or off one of the many side streets nearby.
If you know Austin, Texas, you know that new restaurants pop up around town as often as there are Matthew McConaughey sightings—all the time. So what sets this place apart? Keep reading, mes amis!
Ahh, ze French influence. Bonhomie boasts a stunning patio exterior with an open concept and minimalistic interior. There are a few selected French-inspired items inside, like the white race-car driver’s helmet and art pieces. As they say on their website, Bonhomie is a French bistro-inspired American diner or an American diner-inspired French bistro, whichever floats your boat. The dark red diner seating with metal tables definitely creates the feel of an elevated diner.
The black walls offset the long wall of windows, and the white walls offset the darker spaces. Along with the concrete flooring, they have small copper accents on each light fixture that bring in colors other than black, white, or red into the space. It is a clean look, if not a tad cold. You can check out pictures from their Instagram here.
We secured a table with lots of natural light by calling ahead and making a reservation. They only have a few tables that are reservable; the rest are for walk-in guests. So if you have a larger party, I definitely recommend making a reservation here.
Our waitress helped us choose various dishes and gave us her valuable opinion on what not to miss out on. She checked on us through the evening and made sure our glasses were always full. Our food came out fifteen minutes after ordering, so relatively fast. The restaurant was full within thirty minutes of us getting there, so I would suggest getting there by 6:30 p.m. for a quieter atmosphere and daylight. We left as the sun was setting.
We started off dinner with two chilled glasses of water. After perusing the menu, we decided to order onion rings, gnocchi, roasted squash, and a cheeseburger. Total fusion of French meets American, am I right? The onion rings are large and come in a stack of five or six. They are accompanied by a creamy sauce and a vinegar. Definitely mix them both for the best flavor. The gnocchi is our favorite dish there. It is creamy, light, and divine. We were semi-fighting over it (#marriageiswork). The roasted squash is a must-order. The goat cheese offsets the sweetness of the squash.
Last and somewhat least was the cheeseburger. My husband did not enjoy this burger much. He finished it, but he said the next time he orders it, he will definitely remember to say medium-rare. Unfortunately for him, the burger came out more on the well-done side. If you’re a burger fiend, proceed with caution and make sure to suggest how you want it cooked if you don’t like it well-done.
During my meal, I wasn’t sure how I felt about eating those deliciously greasy onion rings and then taking a bite of my fluffy gnocchi. My husband wasn’t sure about taking a bite from his meaty burger and then complementing that bite with sweet roasted squash. But actually, it works. It is comfort food meshed with elevated food. It’s natural, easy, and the tastes are friendly with each other. It is Bonhomie.