BOHEMIAN – NOHO
57 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012
Date Dined: October 2013
Who doesn’t like being in on a secret? I know I do. And judging by the people I meet in the city I think most New Yorkers do as well. It’s all about having access to the exclusive. This is one of the reasons that Bohemian is so cool. The restaurant is tucked at the very end of a long hidden alleyway behind a tiny butcher’s shop (interestingly the walkway is named “Basquiat Road after the late artist who once lived at this address and is one of my absolute favorites). If you don’t know what you are looking for you may mistake the graffitied metal door on the opposite side for the entrance. I reached the locked glass door at the end of the alley and gave it a knock. After a moment someone answered the door, asked for my reservation and escorted me to my table in the little dining den. The room is small and cozy with some tables for two or four in the center, a small sushi bar and then two more relaxed tables with comfy leather chairs for lounging and enjoying yourself.
The whole concept behind the restaurant is basically that if you want to eat there badly enough, you will figure out a way to somehow obtain the phone number from some source besides the internet (because you won’t find it there so stop Googling). When the restaurant opened a few years ago they managed to stay somewhat under the radar.
Besides being a coveted reservation for the sake of being difficult to get, the restaurant actually does have excellent food. Their menu includes many decadent Japanese composed dishes, Japanese inspired dishes and of course raw fish.
Three of my most culinarily enthusiastic (is that a word?) friends joined me in my dining nook for an adventure in Japanese fare.
We started with a beautiful bucket of fresh oysters. Creamy, semi-deep cup oysters with a little brine and some cider vinegar mignonette and lime for dressing.
Next was the chef’s selection of sashimi. The ice filled bowl arrived to the table with perfectly arranged slices of buttery fish, one piece more enjoyable than the next.
My regular readers can attest that I will pretty much order anything involving uni. Prepare yourselves. We shared two rice bowls topped with uni and salmon roe. The rice was warm and just the right sushi rice texture with the salty eggs on top to season.
After that came our uni croquettes. These rice balls were crispy on the outside and filled with an earthy mushroom cream sauce and topped with more fresh uni.
The miso glazed black cod was a really nice rendition of this classic dish. The sweet miso on the outside of the fish gave it a slightly charred texture around the edges but was incredibly tender and flakey on the inside. On the side? Yup! More uni….I want to say I’ll cut back on my uni intake but I really can’t promise anything. The side was an uni gratin – I mean what more could a girl ask for?
The next dish may have been my favorite – the washu beef shortrib sashimi. The mean was lightly marinated and was so tender and rich it melted in my mouth. Sadly when shared 4 ways it goes too fast…
The sliders were next and we ordered two of each kind to share. One was the signature washu beef burger with pecorino, sautéed onion, semi-dried tomato and a bit of ketchup and mayo – an umami – filled delight. The other burger was teriaki style with lettuce and spicy mayo. Both versions are delicious and despite their tiny size – perfectly pink in the center.
The last main we had was the fois gras soba. This was probably my least favorite dish of the meal. It was not warm at all and it seemed strange to me to have a cool soup with hot fois gras.
After a meal like that it is wrong to skip dessert. We had some steaming green tea served from an adorable elephant shaped teapot along with our uniquely flavored ice creams. One was a goat cheese with sour cherries that was incredible. The cheese was sweet yet still tasted a bit tart and the cherries lightened it up with some fruitiness. This is a must order. The other flavor was a salted caramel and also un-missable.
Bohemian is the perfect place to impress someone on a date or to catch up with a few friends over some well crafted cocktails and delicious food.