Sunday, September 14, 2008

Springfield's Hot Spot - ONYX Fusion Bar & Restaurant

ONYX Fusion Bar & Restaurant is a fairly new restaurant in Springfield, MA (it just opened this year). ONYX bills itself as "Contemporary East-West Cuisine that melds fresh local and international ingredients with modern and traditional technique." With a description like that, how could 2 foodies like us (the hubby & me, that is) resist? Quite frankly, we couldn't - so we went down to Springfield Friday night to check it out.


ONYX is located in the old Basketball Hall of Fame building, just off exit 6 on I-91 South. I was interested to learn that during the remodeling of the building, the owners of ONYX made a concerted effort to go green. They recycled over 80% of the construction debris, put a rain water collection pond on the roof (and they filter the water for reuse in the restaurant), installed energy efficient systems throughout and used renewable bamboo flooring. You'll also notice that they don't use tablecloths in an effort to further reduce water consumption.



The minute you walk in the door of ONYX, you know you're in a hip, happening place. At 7pm on a Friday night, the bar was full, the music was pumping and most of the tables were full. I'm glad we'd made a reservation, which you can do online using Open Table. Upon arriving, we were quickly taken to our table for 2 upstairs. We were seated overlooking the amazing bar, which is the focal point of the restaurant:




The atmosphere at ONYX is quite impressive. Behind the bar is a huge wall of flat panel TVs that were playing a relaxing blend of beach-inspired videos during our visit, which complimented the live reggae band playing downstairs (they have live entertainment Tuesday-Saturday nights). Warm, rich wall colors are the perfect backdrop for the water walls, contemporary chandeliers and other unique accessories scattered throughout the restaurant. Mr. ValleyWriter & I both felt like we had been transported to a hip restaurant in the heart of Boston or New York - which is a first for us in all the restaurants we've visited in the pioneer valley.

After we were seated, our waiter brought over some fresh edamame sprinkled with a spicy salt rub to whet our appetites. We ordered a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvingon, which was very well priced - as was the whole wine menu - I thought.

Mr. ValleyWriter started with the soup of the day, which was a creamy sweet potato with chipolte pepper soup (incredibly smooth & yummy!). I decided to truly indulge in the East-meets-West experience by trying the spicy tuna hand roll sushi. The tuna was incredibly fresh (important when you're eating raw fish) and I have to say it was hands down the best sushi I've ever eaten.

For entrees, Mr. ValleyWriter had the Hawaiian rib eye steak, which was perfectly cooked and very tender and flavorful. I enjoyed the pad thai with coconut and duck confit, which was also perfectly cooked and did an amazing job of blending all of the unique flavors of the ingredients in the dish.

Believe it or not - we even made it to dessert. A seasonal apple and cranberry cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. One word - YUM!!

ONYX is clearly committed to using fresh ingredients, which shows in the amazing flavors of everything we tried. They are also committed to service. Throughout the evening, our waiter was attentive, but not to the point of being obtrusive. The different courses were very well timed, allowing ample time for us to digest a little before the next course, but not wonder where our food was. We also received table side visits from the manager as well as one of the owners of the restaurant, just to make sure we were enjoying ourselves (and we were!).

We had an incredible time at ONYX Fusion Bar & Restaurant and will definitely be back.

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