Lobster ceviche

If Rodrigo Abrajan’s rise from humble beginnings in Mexico to executive chef at two stylish New York restaurants teaches us anything, it is that the American Dream is very much alive. In December 2022, the seasoned veteran and his partners, Luis Villanueva and Mike Khuu, opened their first high-end restaurant, Casa TuLuM, at South Street Seaport. Ten weeks ago, they opened their second, Casa Bond, which is the subject of this report.

Casa Bond is light years removed from the Mexican restaurants of a generation ago, featuring a menu of more refined and, in cases, lighter fare. You can still start your meal with a traditional guacamole, but it is served with baked heirloom corn tostadas. (For a few dollars more, you can have your guac populated with chunks of lobster or — if you’re really living large — an ounce of ossetra caviar, a dollop of chive-flecked crème fraiche, and a side of blinis.)

Lobster turns up again in a fanciful ceviche that is also flavored with passion fruit, lychees, fresh mango, and pomegranate seeds: a glimmer of summer in the dead of winter.

Chile de árbol provides the lobster ceviche with a little kick. If you’d prefer a more punishing blow, opt for the aguachile, which draws its heat from seven (count ’em!) fresh and dried chiles, its substance from shrimp (both cooked and raw), octopus, and razor clams.


The menu advises that the resident mole is composed of 32 ingredients (one of them white chocolate). What distinguishes the dish even further from rival renditions around town is the protein the mole is poured over at tableside: duck confit.

The Mexican state of Hidalgo, two hours north of Mexico City, is known for its barbacoa, which is cooked low and slow. The same method is applied at Casa Bond to a lamb shank, which is wrapped in fragrant avocado leaves prior to its long, slow braising, yielding powerfully flavorful, tender meat. The lamb is presented reclining in a tart salsa verde cruda.

Mixiote de cordero (lamb shank)

You may have thought that molecular gastronomy in New York was dead, but it’s alive and well on the dessert menu at Casa Bond. The “three milks” of the trés leche mazapán are realized here as a hazelnut mousse, passion fruit confit, and a compote of the almond paste. They are separated by layers of a tender sponge, the entire construction artfully painted to resemble the Mexican flag. “Tropical,” another layered affair, is comprised of coconut mousse, pineapple cream, toasted rice, lemon crunch, and a coconut and almond dacquoise.

Service is polite, efficient, and accommodating.

Price range: First courses and sharing plates—$14 to $31 ($145 for guacamole with caviar); main dishes—$28 to $60; desserts—$15.

Casa Bond, 334 Bowery (bet. Great Jones and Bond Sts.), 917-639-3009, is open seven days for dinner.

See also…