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Bohemian, NYC


Bohemian

Chef: Kiyo Shinoki
Cuisine: Japanese, French, American Nouveau
Neighborhood: NoHo
Price: $70-80 average per person for food + drinks
Attire: Casual

**Latest visit: Feb 11, 2011** Yay, new menu items!  It’s getting even more global eclectic with some Spanish tapas-esque influences.  Plus, a fully amazing cocktail list — woohoo for the liquor license!

Bohemian, self-dubbed as a “secret hide-out for grownups”, is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in all of NYC.  A visit to this exclusive members-only restaurant has become a monthly ritual since I first discovered its existence a few months ago.  The restaurant operates on an “invite only” basis, meaning you can only attend if you are invited by a member aka someone who has dined at Bohemian previously.  Another option is actually listed on their website, which invites you to email them at ny-info@playearth.jp with “Visit Enquiry” in the subject line and asks you to include a brief introduction of yourself.  If you are lucky, they may respond to your email with an invite.  I have known several people who found success with this method, so definitely give it a go!

It may be difficult to snag that first reservation, but it’s worth it.  Once you are in, you are welcome to return whenever you so desire.  This also includes dining at the original Bohemian located in the Nishiazabu district of Tokyo, which I fully intend to check out someday!  I also discovered I can make reservations for friends, so there is no requirement to accompany them on their first visit, although I usually want to go anyway!

While this may seem to be just another ridiculously pretentious Manhattan trap, Bohemian is one of the most down-to-earth restaurants I have ever visited.  Bohemian occupies a loft formerly owned by Andy Warhol.  You walk down a long corridor and after ringing the doorbell, you enter an immaculate space that basically resembles someone’s living room.  Decor is very Zen-minimalistic with white walls, a small center skylight, and a mini rock garden in the back.   There are low plush chairs, a couple  couches, glass box coffee tables, and a small bar that seats 6 people max.  The entire restaurant probably comfortably fits 24 people max.

The ambiance is completely casual and laid back.  The entire dining experience is made to feel like you are just going over to a friend’s place to hang out for food, drinks, and good company.  The food is cho umai~ !  The fusion of Japanese with French and American elements is absolutely superb.  Bohemian is quite possibly in my top 5 meals of my life.  I have tried the majority of the current menu and cannot wait until a new menu is developed (supposedly next season).  There is a Chef’s Tasting menu option for $55, but I have always come with a huge group and we end up ordering a bunch of different items a la carte to share.

My repeat favorites include the oysters, sashimi (daily selection), beef short rib sashimi, uni mushroom croquettes, pickled cucumber with bonito jelly, roasted branzini, fried chicken with truffle mashed potatoes, fried sweet potatoes, washu-gyu sliders, and mushroom risotto.  I am not a huge dessert person but no matter how stuffed I am (which is inevitable for me here), I HAVE to order the sake panna cotta and chocolate brulee.

I also enjoyed the vegetable fondue, foie gras soba (amazing combo), smoked meat platter, cheese platter, and miso black cod (very very buttery); however, these aren’t “guaranteed orders” like my repeat faves listed above.  I was not a huge fan of the head tongue and cheese and the little neck clams, but I just don’t like those items in general.

Cocktails
The new full cocktail list is amazing… I had some strawberry champagne drink that was fantastic!

Oysters with an apple vinaigrette
so refreshing and delicious!

Pickled cucumber with bonito jelly
So simple and yet so delicious!

Vegetable Fondue
The fondue sauce is made with anchovies, butter, cream cheese, and has the ability to make any tasteless raw vegetable taste like heaven

Short rib sashimi
Succulent and tender beef sashimi… yum!

Sashimi Selection: Red Eye Snapper, Amberjack, and Sea Brim
Amberjack is my favorite because it’s so fatty tasting!

Fried Sweet Potatoes (Satsuma) with a honey glaze
“What is this sauce?” “I think it’s honey laced with crack”

Uni Mushroom Croquette
Yes, this is a creamy mushroom croquette topped with a generously rich dollop of uni.  I never knew a combination of raw sea urchin and a fried starchy mushroom morsel would be such heaven.  We ordered seconds of this…

Foie Gras Soba
The combination of fatty duck liver with the refreshing cold buckwheat noodles is flavorful and amazing!

Mushroom Risotto topped with Jamón Serrano
That dry-cured ham is such a fabulous addition.  I don’t think I could love this dish any more than I already do… but I will try!

Garlic Shrimp
Can’t recall the actual name of the dish, but it basically was Bohemian’s version of the classic Spanish tapas dish: gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic), which is serving sizzling hot basking in a garlic/pepper/olive-infused oil bath.  Flavors galore.  I love garlic shrimp, but there are definitely other better dishes.

Washu-gyu Sliders
Washugyu is an amazing cross breed between the famous Kobe beef and the equally famous Australian Angus beef to result in the juicy phenomenon called “washugyu

Whole Roasted Branzini with Vegetables
One of the best cooked fish dishes I have ever tasted!  I can devour this entire pan of perfectly seasoned fried branzini and roasted vegetable medley of asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, green beans, potatoes, onions, olives, and YES a whole garlic bulb.  It came piping hot to the table we could not help but dig in immediately, despite the burning sensation on our tongues.

Fried Chicken with Truffle Mashed Potatoes
Succulent chicken with a rosemary crusted skin and smooth, creamy truffle mashed potatoes… yummm

Chocolate Brûléewith caramel banana and vanilla ice cream
I was not a chocolate person but this converted me.  Pure heaven.

Sake Panna Cotta with Okinawa Brown Sugar Sauce
Oh yes come to mama

Green Tea
I am obsessed with this tea pot.  I wanted to travel to Tokyo right then and there to buy one for myself… or just take this elephant-shaped porcelain teapot home with me…

Coffee, black
Lastly, I just loved this old school style coffee pot.  The milk was also served very hot, which my friend commented was the way to go so as to not ruin the ideal temperature of a perfect cup of coffee.

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Comments
14 Responses to “Bohemian, NYC”
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  2. Aman says:

    Okay – please tell me how much you got paid to write this blog because that was one of my worst experiences in New York City in the 10 years that i have lived here. It was hands down the most flavorless and boring food i have ever had. The service was the worst part. Took forever to get served and then the waiter spilled hot oil from the garlic shrimp all over our table. The drinks were bland and i cannot understand how you can get Garlic Shrimp wrong. Shrimp was overcooked and i couldn’t take or even smell the garlic. The burger was way too undercooked. It was like eating beef tartar in a bun. I’m sorry to burst your bubble people, but it is not worth the experience, time or money. And there is nothing to secret about it. It’s not that hard to find or get a reservation.

  3. roman says:

    Hi…I read your blog about Bohemian and I tried to email them for a visit enquiry. I got a response that it failed to deliver the message because there is no mailbox there. Can you please help with this situation? Thanks in advance.

    • jdubs says:

      hi – sorry have heard other readers as well say the email process hasn’t worked either… unfortunately in respect to their rules I can’t publicly provide the phone number or address… the email method isn’t always successful although surprised to hear the inbox is down! All I can say is… just please stay on the lookout if any of your friends happen to go

      sorry can’t help… 😦

  4. Che' says:

    Hello! It seems like you had a wonderful experience and I am longing to have the same! This is the email I sent to the address you posted:
    Dear Bohemian,

    My name is Che’ Ross. I am a 22-year-old Maryland resident who is highly interested in dining at your restaurant. As a personal fan of Japanese culture and of fine dining, I think your restaurant would be a truly wonderful experience to be had. I’m interested in taking my significant other, who is flying in from Denmark so we can spend a weekend together in the Big Apple, to your establishment on our first night there. I realize the exclusivity of your restaurant, and being a Maryland resident, unfortunately do not have the social network to be able to obtain the information required to make a reservation. I was informed via your website this may be a viable option. The reservation I’m interested in making is on the second Saturday of October – the 13th. Please let me know how I should go about making a reservation with you. Once again, this would be a truly memorable experience for both me and my girlfriend. Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Che’ Ross

    I’m not sure if it would be too much to ask you if you could help in some way? Thank you for your time! All the best!

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  6. Cheryl Medina says:

    Stupid auto text… It was supposed to read Soba Totto. Its on 43rd btwn 2nd and 3rd. The grill chef with the long pony tail is so good and fun to watch but, more importantly, makes yummy food cooked to perfection! The soba is pretty good too! My fave dessert is the annin tofu. They may be affiliated with yakitori totto.

    Hope you try it out and enjoy it!

  7. han says:

    jdubs, diana and i would love for some hookup to experience this phenomenal meal! that branzino is what my dreams are made of ! i tried sending a note to that email address, but no go, so anything you can do to help would be tremendously appreciated.
    love your blog, and thanks for following us on twitter!
    -han

  8. Cheryl Medina says:

    I found a great yakitori/soba place that you girls should try and do a review on. Called Sobs Motto. Best soba and yakitori!

    You don’t have to post this. Just couldn’t figure out a way to contact!

    • jdubs says:

      hmm where is Sobs Motto? I love yakitori! Just tried Yakitori Totto in NYC the other day… but didn’t bring camera 😦 so will have to wait for a review!

  9. Cheryl Medina says:

    Bohemian is one of my favorite restaurants in the city as well. I love foie gras but, I was slightly puzzled on the foie and soba. Did you mix the foie in the soba broth? I just took it out completely and didn’t eat it.

    Thanks,
    Just Curious

    • jdubs says:

      I actually did eat everything all together – a bit of foie gras with some soba noodles dipped in the broth. It’s not a very normal combination but the flavors were fine together – especially since foie gras is so rich and heavy whereas soba has a pretty plain taste of buckwheat so it actually balanced quite well.

      I thought it was interesting but honestly, it’s not my favorite dish at Bohemian and I don’t order it very often unless I have a guest that really wants to try it. I prefer my foie gras pure and maybe with some bread!

  10. Allen Bank says:

    Excellent blog > many thanks + a request:

    It’s your doing that I “must” request some assistance. I’ve eaten, dined… at many great, some not so, restaurants the world over, including (a 3000 mile excursion to find the best cassoulet in France, which I did on the final day of my 7 week quest, a momentary decision to jump in my car and Drive to Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City for ribs & burnt ends…) > particularly NY / Brooklyn > my hometown, < yes I am a professional; but have not, as of yet, dined at Bohemian, I need to correct this; which as I said, is due to your posting which I happened upon.

    Curiously, no one I know has been to Bohemian.

    The request / the favor, would you please have me "listed" for membership; per chance to dine, to dream < to paraphrase the master.

    Please let me know how this might be possible. And thanks for your assistance and time.

    Best,

    Allen Bank
    arbnyc@earthlink.net

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  1. […] Furthermore, this dish echoes one of my favorite dishes from one of my favorite NYC restaurants, Bohemian, which does a whole roasted branzini on a bed of asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, green […]



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