New Jersey-born Linda Hampsten Fox has accomplished many things in her years as a professional chef: She’s cooked for high-profile celebrity clients such as Jane Goodall and Dave Matthews, taught at culinary schools in the states and in Mexico, and even lived and worked in Italy for more than a decade. But the one thing she’d never tackled before was running her own restaurant. That is, until tonight, when her ambitious bakery, market, and eatery, the Bindery, opens its doors.
Located in the new Centric LoHi building on Central Street (adjacent to the new Italian eatery Marcella’s Ristorante), the Bindery’s long, high-ceilinged space has a minimalist yet comfortable feel. Walking in, you’ll notice the bakery and market counter first, sporting a casual, coffee shop-esque dining area. Further back, pendant lights hang above bistro-style tables, and a row of bar seats afford views of the wood-burning grill in the open kitchen.
Unsurprisingly, given Hampsten Fox’s eclectic background, the Bindery’s food defies categorization. “My food is really a reflection of my whole life,” Hampsten Fox says, “from living in Europe to my travels in Mexico to growing up in a Polish-Czech family.”
The market opens at 7 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday, offering fresh-baked pastries (we can’t wait to try the grapefruit-cardamom morning bun), house-made jams, pickles, and crackers, and a variety of hot meals meant to be consumed at home. Weekend brunch is a gold mine for egg lovers, when you’ll find them fried in olive oil, poached, soft scrambled alongside beet-cured fish, and tucked inside brioche with truffle butter and duck prosciutto. And the upscale dinner menu jumps seamlessly from rabbit Welsh rarebit toasts to charred octopus with a to-die-for aguachile negra sauce to radicchio ravioli with horseradish crème fraîche.
Hampsten Fox’s food—at once rustic and inventive, high-end and homespun—may not be easy to pin down, but it’s all prepared with great care and skill. We can’t wait to work our way through her menus.
Note: The Bindery is only open for dinner today. It will commence normal hours tomorrow.
The Bindery is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The market closes at 7 p.m. each evening.
1817 Central St., 303-993-2364