Chef: Kiyo Shinoki
Cuisine: Japanese, French, American Nouveau
Price: $70-80 average per person for food + drinks
**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 email@example.com 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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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…
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.