Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian House brings Old World cuisine to River North

What makes Bohemian House stand out from other River North restaurants?

For one, it's thankfully not another steakhouse or Asian fusion joint. And it's way more stylish than many of its neighborhood brethren.

The sweeping space's boho-chic aesthetic is as whimsical as it is deliberate, with glamorous, ornately framed artwork, rustic exposed brick and blue and white fabric-covered chairs. Oriental rugs and a pair of roomy tufted blue couches punctuate and reclaimed wood tables, some of which are communal by design while others, in set-back alcoves, are a more intimate setting for a private dinner.

The menu from chef-visionary Jimmy Papadopoulos is equally eclectic, pulling influences from the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. Although he's delving into Old World cuisine—an edible manifestation of the Bohemian movement as it's been documented through history, if you will—Papadopoulos adds his own modern touches and takes the standard seasonally driven approach. For that reason, and the food's near-flawless execution, we are already both intrigued and in love.

Top, clockwise: grilled chicken, beef pierogies, potato pancakes and coffee with doughnuts

Starting your meal with a plate of BoHo's gloriously crunchy salt and vinegar chips ($6) is non-negotiable; they're served with a creamy horseradish-onion dip that tempers the tanginess of the chips and lends a subtle punch of heat.

Snack on velvety bone marrow and steak tartare ($16) atop toasted sourdough slices before moving on to flavorful spätzel tossed with trumpet mushrooms, smoked beef tongue, rainbow chard, shallots and gouda ($16). The plummy roasted duck with charred kohlrabi ($24) nods to the restaurant's Czech influences.

End your journey with some sugarcoated bliss by way of donuts ($8) served with house-made espresso gelato hazelnut brittle, or go the slightly less indulgent—but no less satisfying—route with sticky-sweet caramelized plum-stuffed kolacky cookies ($8) drizzled in aromatic elderflower syrup.

Suffice it to say, if you ask us, Bohemia is not dead.