A friend and I enjoyed a recent Saturday evening meal at Bomba’s Fresh Italian in Jonesborough.
According to the restaurant’s website, owners Breelyn and Alex Bomba have gone to great lengths to make sure customers feel like a guest in their house during any visit to Bomba’s Fresh Italian.
We know we felt welcomed by the servers during our visit. Our server, Danni, did an excellent job explaining the menu’s various options and making sure that we had everything we desired throughout the meal.
The Bombas have some impressive credentials, as well. Breelyn grew up in the restaurant business. Her parents are the proprietors of Main Street Cafe, which is also located in Jonesborough. Alex, a trained chef, also hails from the region.
They try to utilize local products whenever possible and have cultivated a close relationship with the Jonesborough Farmers Market.
Once Danni delivered our menus, she soon returned with a basket of fresh-baked dinner rolls. These delicious rolls had fresh herbs baked right into the dough. The first basket disappeared rather quickly, to be promptly replenished by Danni.
The restaurant offers several dining rooms, as well as an outdoor dining terrace. The overall decor features white walls contrasted by rough-hewn wood paneling. The tables and chairs are fashioned of a dark-stained wood. Ornamental clocks, mirrors and mosaic art pieces by local artists are displayed on the walls. There’s also a framed painting of a vineyard adding to the color in the room. A built-in wine cabinet at the front counter also displays bottles of some of the wines available at Bomba’s.
We began our meal with an appetizer, selecting from several meal-starter options, including Calamari Fritta, Spinach Artichoke Bake, Baked Flat Bread and Marinated Warm Olives with Grilled Ciabatta.
We chose to share an order of the Artichoke Bake, which was a small casserole of artichokes and parmesan cheese. This rich, cheesy appetizer was served with garlic toast and proved a hearty treat to whet our appetites for the rest of the meal.
The dinner menu consists of pastas and oven-baked dishes, as well as grilled pizzas, sandwiches, paninis and a couple of burgers. A daily special is also typically available.
I considered several of the pasta dishes, including Roasted Vegetable Primavera, Porchetta Carbonara and Eggplant Parmesan. Some of the other entrees that attracted my attention included the Baked Meat Lasagna and the Steak Frites, which consisted of grilled flank steak served with blue cheese butter and hand-cut garlic herb fries.
I ordered the Seafood Scampi and my dinner partner chose the Tortellini Vodka.
In addition to these main dishes, our meals were served with a choice of a Field Green Salad or Caesar Salad. We also chose to add a cup of soup. I selected the Minestrone while my dining companion chose the Italian Wedding Soup. For my salad, I chose the Field Greens while my dining partner chose the Caesar.
The salads and soups were served ahead of the main course. My salad consisted of a medley of fresh field greens with cherry tomato halves, red onions and carrots. The traditional Caesar Salad featured chopped romaine lettuce topped with anchovy filets and freshly shaved parmesan cheese.
Our server also provided us with a twist of fresh ground pepper as well as parmesan cheese for both our soups and salads.
The Minestrone consisted of a medley of vegetables, cannellini beans and pasta in a tomato-based broth. The Italian Wedding Soup (a favorite of our server’s) consisted of house-made mini-meatballs and fresh herbs in a rich broth. The mild soups tasted freshly made and subtly seasoned. The salads, too, tasted fresh and quite refreshing.
Just as we finished the soups and salads, our server arrived with the main courses. As with the earlier dishes, everything was served in an attractive fashion and our server also provided additional parmesan cheese for our dishes.
I enjoyed my main course, which consisted of a large scallop, several jumbo shrimp, lobster meat, dried cherry tomatoes and fennel served over bowtie pasta.
My friend also greatly enjoyed the flavorful vodka sauce served over his tortellini, which was tossed with house-made sausage, artichokes and roasted peppers.
Both dishes melded their ingredients in a tasty manner, and we both shared a sample of the other’s dishes. The portions were quite generous, but we did save room for a shared dessert.
Our options for concluding the meal included Tiramisu, Chocolate Mousse and Italian Lemon Cream Cake. We chose the cake and were treated to a light, delicious dessert featuring two layers of cake with lemon creme filling between each layer and dusted with powdered sugar.
Bomba’s Fresh Italian also offers occasional special wine dinners where each course of the meal is paired with a different wine. The restaurant also offers a lunch menu featuring a variety of salads, sandwiches and other items.
We were both impressed with our experience at Bomba’s and would place the Jonesborough restaurant among the best of the area’s Italian eateries. If you visit, let them know they were highly recommended.
AT A GLANCE: Bomba’s Fresh Italian, 125 E. Jackson Blvd., Jonesborough. 913-4685. Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Saturday, 5-9 p.m. Closed Monday. Credit cards accepted. Carryout available. Catering services available. Selection of wines available.