Chicago Eats: Bohemian House | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: Bohemian House

While my family is mostly Swedish and Italian, I grew up in an area with large Polish and Czech populations and through many festivals (this was always a favorite!), restaurants, and visits to my friends' houses for family dinners, I developed an appreciation for bohemian cuisine at an early age. Along with my grandmother's hearty pasta dishes and my mother's perfectly made apple pies, the flavors of Central Europe have long featured prominently on my list of delicious comfort foods.

It should come as no surprise that I was thrilled when Bohemian House (affectionately referred to as BoHo) opened its doors in River North a few years ago. Drawing its primary influences from Czech, Polish, Austrian, and Hungarian cuisines, BoHo offers a culinary tour through Central Europe with a modern, seasonal twist. The team strives to maintain the traditional flavor profiles while also utilizing what's in season in the Midwest. The result is a unique and highly lauded restaurant serving up some of the best food in town... including over 30,000 pierogis in their first year alone!

The interior is super cozy and detailed; while it's only a few years old, the space feels very old world European.

Their gorgeous artwork makes my Mucha-loving heart happy!

Smoking Mirrors: gin, Génépi, tawny, applewood smoke, and lemon. Along with traditional European brews, BoHo also has an innovative cocktail program with a host of house-infused spirits. One of my favorites is this smokey and herbal cocktail with hints of lemon.

Smoked Trout Toast: crisp whole grain toast topped with a creamy mixture of smoked trout, cucumber Mizeria salad, quail egg, and trout roe. Available only for brunch, this super flavorful and texturally interesting toasts I've had in ages.

Grilled BoHo Bacon with dark lager syrup, raisins, and pumpernickel breadcrumbs on a rutabaga purée. This isn't your typical crispy strip of bacon, but rather a juicy, thick, and tender hunk of pork belly. The rutabaga purée perfectly balances the sweetness from the syrup and the meat is melt-in-your-mouth perfection!

Hungarian Langos with garlic sour cream, aged gouda, and dill. This ridiculously addictive crispy fried bread is a childhood favorite and BoHo gets it so, so right. It's lightly fried (no greasiness!) and super flavorful - I easily could demolish a plate of it all on my own!

Zurek Soup: rustic Polish soup with kielbasa, leeks, potatoes, and eggs. If you like the flavor of rye bread, this delicious and hearty soup is an absolute must! It's slightly lighter than the traditional version, as it's less bready, however, it still makes a perfect stick-to-your-ribs meal on a cold day. BoHo's version is one of my all-time favorite soups.

Knackwurst Sausage with whipped hen eggs, cinnamon bread pudding, and macerated strawberries. I'll be the first to admit that this is a bit of a strange combination, but somehow, it all works, thanks to the perfectly balanced sweet/savory component.

Open-Faced Schnitzel Sandwich: fried duck egg, horseradish cream, sauerkraut, Emmentaler, and rye toast. Along with the langos, the schnitzel sandwich is the other dish I most associate with my childhood - it's one of my ultimate comfort foods! The pork cutlet is battered and fried to perfection and the runny egg is a great addition, as it helps to keep it from drying out. I particularly like that BoHo's version is open-faced, as it's already an incredibly rich dish.

Look at that giant cutlet and perfect layers!

If you're looking for an innovative and approachable take on bohemian cuisine (or really just want some fab flavorful comfort food) in a super homey environment, BoHo should definitely be on your list!

You can try all of this deliciousness and more at Bohemian House: 11 W. Illinois St., Chicago, IL. 

ETA: This restaurant has closed. 

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