Win/Fail Friday: Yay for Bondir, Nay for Meadhall

Welcome to Win/Fail Fridays, where food editor Donna Garlough mouths off about her latest dining-out adventures.

This week’s WIN: Drinks while you wait at Bondir
As if the entrance to this cozy little Area 4 bistro wasn’t charming enough — floral cushions, candles, flowers, and organically cool tree-stump stools greet you as soon as you walk in — that the staff offers beer, wine, and aperitifs to guests who are waiting for their tables is icing on the cake, especially since they don’t have a bar. And even if they did, having someone bring a little something to you feels so much more personal than the usual, “Would you like to have a seat at the bar, and we’ll call you when your table is ready?” No, being served a drink feels more like being at a dinner party — not a bad way to start off a meal. I’ve had similar service at VeeVee in Jamaica Plain, and on the ritzier end of things, Menton. And given how frequently I find myself waiting around restaurants despite having a reservation, I wish more places in town would adopt this practice.

This week’s FAIL: Mystery cheese at Meadhall
The new gastropub in Kendall Square features an artisan “Plateau de Fromages” served with traditional accompaniments for $14. Sounds like a lovely pairing for one of the many microbrews on tap, right? Too bad it was dropped on our table like silverware, with no explanation of what, exactly, we were about to eat. I’m pretty certain that the small, cylindrical thimbles were Hannahbells, the harder square was probably a Vermont cheddar — Grafton, maybe? I have no clue what the blue one was; coulda been donkey-milk cheese, for all I know. Good thing I’m not a picky eater.

Runner-up FAIL: Mystery location at Meadhall
Note to hostesses everywhere: When someone calls to ask for directions to your restaurant, do not say “It’s across from Starbucks.”

Stay tuned for next week’s Win/Fail!