A great sequel takes the core of the original, and makes it rock even harder -- Empire Strikes Back upped the riveting family intrigue and expansive alien tundras, while Predator 2 had even more Danny Glover. Gorge & guzzle a great sequel at Bongo, soft opening Thursday.
Like a Baby Huey to Chelsea's same-named oyster bar/lounge, Bongo's dishing out expanded iterations of the original's seafood-centric menu and cocktail list in a space that dwarfs its sibling's ultra-cozy digs, with a stone-bar'd front room, a separate lounge with generous sofas/chairs, and a private backroom dropping more of the same -- all copiously windowed and Mid-Century Modern'd with solid blue/purple/red walls, mosaic-tiled end tables, flea market-sourced blown glass, and upholstery stolen from the Brady Bunch's den. The kickoff menu recreates simple faves like homemade chips/salsa, hummus/grilled pita, and smoked salmon tartare, plus toothsome fare like lobster & shrimp rolls, tuna burgers, and crab-cake sammies, and raw bar steez such as little neck clams, jumbo shrimp, and 15 different kinds of oysters, including Beau Soleil, Beavertail, Elkhorn, Skookum, and the citrus-y Fanny Bay, a beach-cultured variety known for being loaned out to even the least qualified of diners. Booze has been infused with a new sake section, expanded single-malt and bourbon selections, and wine now available by the bottle; or, make nice with a 30-strong cocktail list featuring the oyster-friendly Bongo 299 (Lillet, Champagne, sour mix, fresh lime juice, club soda), the Rumsicle (Cruzan Vanilla, OJ, 7Up), and the Snowball -- Zyr poured over homemade lemon Italian ice, and hopefully not spit back into anyone's mouth.
Once they get the kitchen gas turned on, B's planning to add a bevy of hearty New England fried fare (oysters, clam belly, etc), grub they hope to serve right up 'til closing at 4am, making it a post-party oasis for the most enduring sequel of all time, Predator You.