CloverEats: a fantastic meal at Bohemian House in Chicago
I just had one of the best meals that I’ve had in a while. A bunch of my friends from high school all got together downtown to go skating at the new Maggie Daley Ice ribbon, where the skate rental line was unbelievable. Definitely bring your own skates if you’re planning to go! Afterwards, we went to Bohemian House, a Czech/German/Austrian restaurant in River North. We walked over, so didn’t have to worry about parking. Also, the five of us were able to get a seat at one of their communal tables at dinnertime on a Saturday without reservations! We were all pretty frozen at that point, so it was quite exciting that there was a section of hot cocktails. Pictured above was the lovely Winter in Salzburg, with cognac, rosemary, apple cider, St. Germain, and lemon. It was an extra bonus that the lemon and rosemary were literally flamed tableside, giving off an aroma of smoked herbs before the rest of the drink was poured on. Fantastic!The decor is fantastic, a mixture of rustic and modern, with gracious use of wood and metal. Some of the tables were communal, like the one we sat at, other tables were not.
Two other fantastic cocktails I had my eye on were the Prague Rose, with vodka, pear brandy, cranberry marmalade, ginger, and bubbles, and the Infused Fashion with house-made vanilla-fig bourbon (!!!) and orange. Luckily, my friends who didn’t get the Winter in Salzburg got these two drinks, and reported that they were likewise excellent.
We started off with bacon buns, served with plum marmalade. These were good but nothing fantastic. The beef cheek pierogies, with roasted carrots, sour cream, and pickled onions, had an excellent sauce and good texture. However, the star of the appetizers was absolutely the bone marrow with steak tartare, with watercress, horseradish, and sourdough toast. Each bite was bursting with flavor, and delightfully fatty! I was also interested in the potato pancakes, deviled eggs, salt and vinegar chips, beets, and knackwurst, but one mustn’t fill up on appetizers. I’ll have to come back at some point to try the rest of these!
For entrees, we split several dishes. Our server highly recommended the chicken paprikash, with paprika, pickled sweet peppers, kale, and potato dumplings, naming it as the house special. I am not a huge fan of chicken, but this was just amazing. It was moist, extraordinarily flavorful, with just the right blend of spice. The pork schnitzel was done well, with a tender crust and soft interior, but just wasn’t as flavorful as the chicken. The Canadian walleye was similarly good, with braised beans, parsnips, bacon, onions, and my friend’s favorite, hen of the woods mushrooms, but just wasn’t comparable to the chicken.
Of course we saved room for dessert: cheese kolacky with apple cider jam and powdered sugar and dark chocolate custard with salt caramel ice cream, candied peanuts, butterscotch, and cocoa tuile. I honestly wasn’t expecting to be blown away by the cheese kolacky given some Google Image search results, but to my surprise, it was soft and fluffy, warm and sweet. The dark chocolate custard, which I was more excited about, turned out to be very similar to chocolate mousse, and while delicious, was not as interesting as the kolacky.
Overall, this has been one of the best meals I’ve recently had. Definitely split some appetizers, and get the grilled chicken paprikash. Check them out on Yelp, at their website, as well as my friend Lu’s review of them there!