Bohemian House | River North | Polish/Russian/Eastern European | Restaurant
click to enlarge The interior of Bohemian House takes the form of an ornate beer hall haunted by the spirit of art nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha.

The interior of Bohemian House takes the form of an ornate beer hall haunted by the spirit of art nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha.

Andrea Bauer

Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos updates the cuisine of eastern Europe, particularly the Czech Republic.

Our Review

With this beautiful new restaurant, which takes the form of an ornate beer hall, former DeLaCosta chef Jimmy Papadopoulos is easing a new generation of softies into eating like blue-collar bohunks in need of mountains of roast pork, dumplings, and sauerkraut to get through a second shift. That's why his potato pancakes are dainty little things; a trio of bites, dabbed with apple preserves, kohlrabi matchsticks, and ribbons of cured salmon. The pursuit of accessibility is why his soft and silky beef cheek pierogi are drenched in an intensely concentrated winey sauce and garnished with wizened carrots, slow roasted to concentrate their flavors. It's why a stout house-made knackwurst is clad in—or, more accurately, laid under—a blanket of puff pastry, a nod to younger generations raised on cocktail weenies swaddled in Pillsbury dough. Still, Grandpa could probably get behind the Lithuanian-style bacon buns, or deviled eggs topped with a scrap of smoked whitefish. Papadopoulas's greatest expression of irreverence among these smaller shareable plates is the roasted beef bone saddled with a pile of minced beef tartare—a magnificent hunk of raw flesh. The roast duck is an odd bird, its pink, seemingly cured flesh falling easily off the bone amid sweet fuchsia-colored summer plums. Meanwhile a grilled chicken paprikash is something extraordinary: a lovely, charred half fowl, heavily rubbed in paprika, bathing in a vibrantly red, smoky sauce. The only nod toward the old country at dessert is a quartet of doughy plum kolacky.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$
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