River North's Bohemian House

February 18, 2015

As Chicago's dining scene continues to grow, it becomes increasingly harder for restaurants to differentiate themselves. And then there's River North's Bohemian House, or BoHo. Everything about the place is Bohemian. The warm decor featuring dark wood, an entire table setting stuck to the brick walls and displayed as art, eclectic patterns, and Executive Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos' menu exploring fare from the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria.

Decor at BoHo
I stopped by on a chilly weeknight for dinner and drinks with my friend Sarah. The place was packed so I definitely recommend making a reservation. We were seated all the way in the back of the restaurant near the kitchen. While I normally would prefer not to sit near the kitchen, there was a little window that allowed us to peer through and view the pastry chefs hard at work. I loved it.

Window View of the Kitchen
We each started with a cocktail--I tried the Whisky in Cider, a perfect blend of whisky, cider, cinnamon and maple syrup that was surprisingly not overly sweet. Sarah tried the Hospoda Mule, their take on a Moscow Mule. Both were refreshing and well balanced.

Hospoda Mule & Whisky in Cider
Before I go to any restaurant, I do some serious research when it comes to some of the must-try items on the menu. One of those items was the potato pancakes. Everything about these was perfect, from the smoked salmon and dill, to the kohlrabi and apple preserves which were a nice modern touch. I could see why everyone raved about them.

Potato Pancakes
The second appetizer we tried were the beef pierogis with roasted carrots, sour cream, and pickled onions. They were pillowy soft, and the filling was savory and comforting. Another good choice but I think next time I'd try the deviled eggs. There are so many delicious-sounding starters you could certainly make a meal of them!

Beef Pierogis
The entrees section of BoHo's menu is limited to seven options. Personally, I prefer when menus aren't pages and pages long. Options include pork schnitzel, Czech roasted duck leg, spatzle, and the dish I had long associated with BoHo, grilled chicken paprikash, which we both ordered and could have easily split. I know what you're thinking. Who orders chicken at a restaurant? This is the place to order chicken! The half chicken is coated in a blend of spices including, you guessed it, paprika, on top of a bed of kale, pickled sweet peppers, and Czech potato dumplings. The chicken is uber tender and there was intense flavor from the seasonings. One of the best parts of the dish were the potato dumplings. They're kind of formed into these Twinkie-like shapes and they soak up all of the juices and flavor from the chicken. So delicious!

Chicken Paprikash
Next we rounded out our meal with two of BoHo's four dessert options since we couldn't decide on just one. The cheese kolacky with caramelized plum and edible flower was one of the best things I've eaten. The European cookie was so delicate and buttery it simply melted in your mouth. The fresh plum brightened up the cookies and momentarily made me forget there were only three on the plate. I could eat these every. single. day.

Cheese Kolacky
Our second dessert was the coffee and doughnuts featuring three crispy and warm doughnut holes paired with a cup of Bow Truss coffee gelato and hazelnut brittle. We loved the light doughnuts with the intensity of the espresso flavoring. But my heart still lies with the kolacky.

Coffee & Doughnuts
BoHo is warm, inviting, relaxed and modern all at the same time. It's refreshing to dine at a restaurant doing something different in this amazing culinary city. I highly recommend stopping in for dinner, but only if you promise you'll get the chicken paprikash and the kolacky!

I'm giving BoHo 4.5 ghosts!

Bohemian House (BoHo)
11 W. Ilinois
Chicago, IL 60654
Boho - Bohemian House on Urbanspoon

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