Signature Dish: Bohn's special lives up to its name

Aug 21, 2015








BATAVIA — There’s a very good reason why the signature dish at Bohn’s Restaurant is called the Rib & Sea for Two. Because one person can’t eat it. Well, maybe a sumo wrestler could, but the average person doesn’t have enough stomach for the platter of food that gets delivered to the table.

Created more than 20 years ago, the meal includes two 8-ounce prime ribs, 8 ounces of king crab, two 5-ounce lobster tails, two seafood-stuffed shrimp, sautéed vegetables, choice of potato, and two side salads. Oh, and fresh bread, not to leave out anything.

It’s a serious amount of food.

But if you’re going to order it, make sure to tell the hostess when you enter. That way, she’ll put you at one of the larger tables. You’ll need it to accommodate all of the plates, bowls, and other serving vessels.

“Look at this platter of food and imagine trying to serve it at one of those small booths,” said kitchen manager Paul Nichiponuk on Thursday, gesturing over his shoulder at a two-person table. “There’s not enough room.”

“I have to set up a folding tray next to it,” chimed in manager Diane Catino. “They don’t tell us when they come in that they’re going to get the Rib & Sea for Two. If they did, I would put them at the bigger table, so they have room to work with.”

The restaurant serves 30-40 Rib & Sea for Two dinners each week, which is more impressive when you consider the restaurant is only open for dinner Thursday through Sunday.

Those who order the meal will see a steady stream of deliveries to the table. First comes the fresh bread that is baked in house. Then come the salads, followed by the melted butter kept warm by candles, bowls of au jus, plates of potato and vegetables, then — finally — the platter of prime rib and seafood. And just to add a little more food, the prime ribs are topped with two onion rings each. It’s an impressive sight.

“First, it’s the quality of the food,” Catino said when asked why the dish is so popular. “Then you do a presentation like this, and they’re overwhelmed.”

Nichiponuk credited the seafood when asked why the dish is so popular after two decades on the menu.

“We serve the best seafood in town,” he said. “It’s the freshest.”

Bohn’s is celebrating 30 years of operation this month, even if the building has housed a restaurant for the better part of a century.

The Rib & Sea for Two sells for $65.