Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bohemian House - Chicago Restaurant Week Brunch

Bohemian House has been a restaurant on my radar since shortly after it opened about a year and a half ago but I had never made any firm plans to dine there.  I had tried some of their food at various benefits and really liked what I had, but I had not experienced the restaurant.  A friend, though, invited me out for brunch during Chicago Restaurant Week so I decided to see what it was about.  As it's name suggests, Bohemian House, or Boho, focuses on the food of Bohemia (a region of the Czech Republic) and Eastern Europe in general.  While there is a sign outside on the awning, the restaurant is in an old office building and is not exceptionally obvious.  The alcove leading to the door has some really ornate tile along one edge, so that can also be used as a marker as well.  Entering the modern glass door in the alcove, there is a stair leading to the right, at the top of which is a big, heavy, wooden door behind which is the restaurant.  The space is very open with unfinished ceilings and large wooden beams supporting the ceiling.  There is a large, long, and heavy-looking wooden bar opposite the door with a nice liquor selection as well as some antiques on the bar shelves for decoration.  The floor of the dining room was hardwood as were the tables, a combination of high two tops, four tops, and communal tables.  The seats were padded with leather.  Also along the same wall as the entrance was a line of booths with soft leather padded seats, padded pillows, and a half-round table.  This is where we sat.  The kitchen was in the back behind a large arched window and tiled wall.  It's a beautiful space that reminded me of the European-inspired beer halls of The Publican and The Radler
As this was a Chicago Restaurant Week menu, we were able to order three courses for $22 (plus drinks, tax and tip) which, having looked at the menu previously, was kind of a huge deal.  I started things off with Deviled Eggs with Spicy Pepper Relish and Crispy Shallots.  The egg whites were firm and the yolks were perfectly whipped.  The Pepper Relish and Paprika provided a nice addition of spice and the Crispy Shallots added a nice crunch to what would have otherwise been a toothless dish.  It was a nice start and I looked forward to my next dishes.
I generally don't go sweet for my main course, but my other choice was a Weinerschnitzel Sandwich and while I am sure that it would have been good, I wasn't feeling it.  I decided to go with the Bavarian Pancakes with Brandied Prunes, Apples, Pecans, Farmers Cheese, and Powdered Sugar.This was very good and I'm glad I choosed it.  The pancakes were thin, like crepes.  The Apples and Prunes were sweet, tender, juicy, and boozy, and the sugar and juice/syrup added more sweetness.  The Farmer's Cheese, a housemade cheese similar to a mild ricotta added some creaminess to the dish and the pecans added a nutty flavor and a crunchy variety to the dish.
I would have been happy to finish here, but there was one dish to go.  I had a choice of Doughnuts or Kolacky and I decided to go with the Doughnuts.  They were deep fried Doughnut Balls served on  a thin layer of Bavarian Cream (basically the Bavarian version of Panna Cotta) and a dish of Currant Marmalade for dipping or spreading on the doughnuts.  The doughnuts were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and were rolled in granulated sugar.  The doughnuts were good on their own (although admittedly, I have other doughnuts that I have liked much more), but the Bavarian Cream and the Marmalade added to the doughnuts separately or combined which was the best.

I am glad my friend invited me out for brunch so I could actually see the place.  I really liked brunch and would return again for brunch or dinner.       

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