Total Bill: $110 for two
A hidden entrance. An unlisted phone number. Its taciturn response to the ring of a doorbell. All these elements that shroud Bohemian in tantalizing mystery made the 12 year old in me eager to try it but the jaded New Yorker in me fearful of yet another culinary gimmick.
I indulged, and turns out, it’s anything but.
My key in came by email, when a very nice staff member responded to my inquiry and we got to talking about my newborn pea. The genuineness in their service extended into the dining room, which you have probably read by now was one of Andy Warhol’s studios. There were no more than 30 or so seats inside this cozy box of a restaurant, where the ceiling hung low and a hodge podge of artwork lined the walls, while a singular skylight in an otherwise subterranean-like space lets in just the right amount of natural light to make it feel like you’re sitting at home on an overcast Sunday afternoon reading a book with a cup of tea.
I digress, but that’s how it felt. Homey. And you can’t have homey without real, honest food.
You’ll be tempted to go for the 5-course prix fixe which is priced at $58 a person — eye-catchingly low by Manhattan standards. But there are items you should try that aren’t included in the prix fixe.
The uni croquette you’ll get going either route. There’s a reason why this is one of its most photographed dishes — beautifully plated with luscious uni draped over a crunchy croquette. But what photos across Instagram don’t capture is what happens when you bite into it and somehow this blanket of mushroom concoction comes oozing out, somehow maintaining its velvety form inside that crispy shell.
My favorite of the night has to be the short rib sashimi. It’s only appropriate they serve beef in its purest form here considering Bohemian’s unmarked door is tucked away behind Japan Premium Beef, purveyor of a beautiful wagyu you can take home with you for a modest $50-something a pound. Don’t even put the beef sashimi in soy sauce. It’s in perfect condition as is.
We also ordered a dish off the specials, a seafood bouillabaisse with this intense tomato-y soup rendered from the medley of prawns, clams, mussels and scallops, collected into a small mug for your drinking pleasure. It’s a heartwarming dish, but a departure from the delicacy of Japanese cuisine.
That brought us to a pretty comfortable level of fullness, but the craftsmanship alone will want to make you order dessert just to see what they come up with. So we did.
The lemon tart was recommended to us, and just visually, you can see why. It’s basically a deconstructed presentation, and each element stood its ground flavor-wise. The lemon was tangy and tart, the mango thick and robust, while the solid whip of meringue was sweet and airy.
Perhaps the only underwhelming dish to hit our table was the green tea brownie, which my sister correctly pointed out was more like a dense fudge. The already awkward texture seemed forced with the strawberry slices and a disc of white chocolate. I love adding green tea to almost anything, but this was only really a good idea in concept.
I’m not doing this place justice by ending on a downbeat note, but that should do nothing to detract you from finding that number so that you and your friends can spend a lovely afternoon, or two or three or fifty, eating really good food.