Of all the restaurants found in the renovated NewSpace Theatre complex, the sharp, smart but equally casual Boo Radley’s has possibly done the best. Named rather quirkily after the kooky character in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mocking Bird, this bistro-bar has a touch of American nostalgia about it, from its art deco frontage and beautiful bar counter to its polished wood tables. The easy movement between the bar and the restaurant area, and the chequered floor with its hotel foyer-style potted palms, gives the space a transient feel.
Together with the leather banquettes that accommodate large groups, it’s the perfect environment in which to party, network, table-hop and chat. Cocktails flow; smoke drifts in from the bar; the noise levels are fairly high. I can’t recall when I last heard the Sex Pistols played in a restaurant — no wonder it’s a hit with the young at heart and the theatre crowd, actors and patrons, who take advantage of its late night kitchen. (They also have live music every Wednesday from 9:30pm.) During the day it is far calmer, and a great spot for a quick sandwich or a business lunch. The service is attentive and familiar. The food is classic; the tastes kept safe; the quality well above expectation. The grills are the main attraction together with their signature sauces: béarnaise, rosemary jus, port jus, wild mushroom and truffle jus.
Recommendations include their burgers, the fillet (R125) and if on chalkboard special try the lamb rump (R110). Cooked to perfection the meats are served sliced, not as whole cuts in the old steakhouse style. The cheeseboard (R70) with pecorino, mature cheddar, and a blue, accompanied by roasted mixed nuts in honey makes a great finish together with a glass of Glen Carlou dessert chenin (R18). Boo Radley’s has that successful North American combination of a permissive, laissez-faire environment while upholding high professional standards in its kitchen and bar.