Bohemian House

On State and Illinois Street in downtown Chicago is a restaurant serving authentic Bohemian cuisine called Bohemian House (or BoHo).

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I’m going to be completely honest and say that I had no idea what type of food was served at BoHo when I made the reservation.  I made the reservation based solely off of the interior and didn’t really pay attention to what was served.  BoHo looked fun and different so I thought I’d give it a shot and I’m so glad that I did.  When I went back through my photos from that evening I felt that they really didn’t do it justice so I’ve attached some photos from their website below.

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(Above: photos via bohochicago.com)

Due to my lack of knowledge of the menu, my friends and I decided to each order an appetizer that was a little out of our comfort zone and split them between all of us.

Below is the smoked golden trout spread with pickled celery, trout roe (caviar) and butter crackers.  This spread was light but pretty sweet as well with the pickled celery on top.  I was nervous about this one and would say that it was probably my least favorite out of the four.

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Next, is my personal favorite the asparagus toast. Served on whole grain with goat cheese, honey and egg yolk, this dish was packed with so much flavor.  The combination of the goat cheese and the honey gave a sweet and savory taste that hit the spot.  I was tempted to order another toast at the end because I enjoyed it so much.

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Below is the beef cheek pierogi topped with roasted carrots, pickled onions and sour cream.  I absolutely loved this one. This was my first time having a pierogi and they were delicious!
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Last of the starters is the Hungarian lángos described as fried potato bread, chive sour cream, aged gouda and dill.  LOVED this dish.  This was probably my second favorite.  The potato bread added a little twist to what you would normally think of cheesy bread.
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Ranking them in order I would probably say:
  1. Asparagus Toast
  2. Hungarian Langos
  3. Beef Cheek Pierogi
  4. Smoke Golden Trout
For dessert, we had the dark chocolate custard with candied hazelnuts, salted caramel ice cream, butterscotch and cocoa tuile and the strawberry paczki described as a traditional Polish doughnut with whipped creme fraiche, almond streusel and lemon-poppyseed ice cream.  I am always a sucker for anything lemon-poppyseed so I adored the ice cream.  I’m not the biggest dark chocolate fan so if I had to choose between the two I would definitely say the paczki is the way to go!
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(Dark Chocolate Custard)
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(Strawberry Paczki)
I give Bohemian House a 10/10.  An accidentally adventurous meal turned out to be one of my favorite memories from my summer in the city.

Rockit Bar and Grill

At 22 W Hubbard Street in River North is Rockit Bar and Grill.  Rockit has recently undergone a renovation that gives a sleek and stylish vibe with white granite bartop and all black interior.  Rockit is known for their wide variety of craft beers found on tap and their delicious bites.  With the new renovation came the development of the upstairs lounge perfect for the Chicago night scene.

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(photo via rockitbarandgrill.com)

One of Rockit’s infamous dishes is the “Rockit Pocket” which is a crispy wrap filled with meat, cheese and caramelized unions.  It’s like a fancy hot pocket, but 10 times more delicious.  Our waitress told us that a lot of people come in for the drinks and just get a few orders of the Rockit Pockets for their meal and I don’t blame them!

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I ordered the Black Angus Burger served with the standard fixings on a pretzel bun and added avocado.  If I would’ve known the size of the burger I would not have added anything to it.  I’m not exaggerating when I tell you the patty itself was two inches thick.  As tasty as it was, the size made it impossible to eat.  I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt and say that if I hadn’t added the avocado to it I would’ve been able to eat it like a normal human but I don’t think it would have made a difference.  Cutting the burger in half didn’t even make it easier.  I ended up having to cut it into pieces and eat it looking like a complete idiot.  Delicious? Yes.  Worth the trouble? I’m still deciding, but everything else I had was great.

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Rockit has a really fun craft cocktail menu as well.  I ordered the “Bad Reputation”  made with Belvedere Vodka, Plantation Pineapple, Cranberry, Giffard Peche, Lemon and Egg White.  They also added a nice little touch and put a vampire on the top!

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I can’t speak for the night scene upstairs, but dinner-wise Rockit Bar and Grill was amazing!

Rockit Bar and Grill: 9/10

Tay’s Burger Shack

In North Kansas City, parallel to the main drag of Armor Road is a tiny location called Tay’s Burger Shack.  Small in size but great in flavor, Tay’s has taken Northtowne by storm with its juicy burgers and casual feel.   Owner, Kent Harrison, is also the owner of a very popular spot in Northtown called Jersey Boyz Subs and Deli.  The exterior can be a little disheartening but is no reflection of the quality of food.  I was very nervous to give Tay’s a try because of curbside view.  The phrase “never judge a book by its cover” comes to mind and perfectly describes Tay’s Burger Shack.

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An area that puts a lot of emphasis on the lunch hour for local businesses, Tay’s has positioned itself to fit right in by utilizing its size as a way for locals to come grab a quick burger and be back on their merry way.

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All of their burgers are 100 percent organic grass fed beef.  From burgers to hotdogs to custard varieties Tay’s has the food down, but what makes it a perfect fit for the area is the vintage decor. From the 50’s music on a loop to the soda in glass bottles, Tay’s brings a lighthearted atmosphere.

Pictured below is the single burger and side of fries.  Juicy and rich with flavor the burger was cooked perfectly.  The fries did have a little bit of a kick to them that was a nice surprise!

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If you’re looking for a different burger other than the KC classics stop by and check out Tay’s Burger Shack.  9/10

McCormick & Schmick’s

In Kansas City, Mo. is a hub for many fine restaurants called The Country Club Plaza.  McCormick & Schmick’s is just one of them with a prime location on 47th Street that serves a fresh menu of steak and seafood daily.

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McCormick & Schmick’s has been a seafood staple in the United States since the 1970’s when Doug and Bill McCormick paired up to create the original restaurant. M&S became a publicly traded company in 2004.  Since then, they have expanded to include 57 locations within 22 different states.

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Pictured below is the Lump Crab Cake with corn salsa, rice and vegetables.  The crab cake has a little kick to it, but is not overly spicy.

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Also pictured are the butterfly shrimp stuffed with crab on top of red pepper white cheddar mashed potatoes and a vegetable side.  So good!  This was my favorite.

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If you are going to stop by M&S you cannot leave without their classic chocolate bag.  A bag made completely out of chocolate filled with white chocolate mouse and fresh berries.  The picture does not do the size of the dish justice, so be prepared to share!

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McCormick & Schmick’s gets a 10/10.

 

Dollop Coffee

Good Morning coffee drinkers! This post is dedicated to one of my new-found favorite spots in the city- Dollop Coffee.  With 10 different locations in Chicagoland, Dollop is everywhere and I couldn’t be more happy about it.  Dollop started in 2005 and has been expanding its reach ever since.  Current locations include these following areas:

  • Buena Park
  • Lakeview
  • Streeterville
  • Evanston
  • Downtown (S Dearborn near Harold Washington Library)
  • Gold Coast
  • Ukrainian Village
  • Loop (W Washington)
  • Loop (W Monroe)
  • Hyde Park

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(Pictured above: Streeterville location).

While every Dollop location is different (I may or may not have been to three of them) the atmosphere is consistent in each.  If you’re looking for somewhere to chat with a friend or have a productive lunch hour, pop in to one of these locations and you can do just that with the right amount of background noise to help you stay sane without distracting you.  Dollop makes their fresh pastries out of the Ukrainian Village location so keep that in mind, as well.

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(Pictured above: Dowtown location).

Proudly serving Metropolis coffee, Dollop knows what they’re doing.  A couple of their options that I can vouch for: mocha latte (iced and hot), dirty chai (chai tea latte with a shot of espresso), and their drip coffee.  You really can’t go wrong.

Sandwich-wise I was instantly drawn to the brie sandwich and have never looked back.  Served on toasted multi-grain bread (which can be substituted for baguette or fresh bagel) with sliced pear, greens, brie cheese and fig jam.  AMAZING. Perfect for a light lunch with a sweet little twist.

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Dollop Coffee gets a 10/10.  Forever craving a brie sandwich!

 

Stout Barrel House and Gallery

Happy Tuesday!  If you’re in the mood for some comfort food in the downtown Chicago area I’ve got a place for you to take into consideration.  Stout Barrel House and Gallery is a nitro-pub located off of N Clark in the River North area.

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If you’re considered a beer fanatic, like myself, that’s just one more reason for you to try Stout.  With 21 beers on tap, 42 bottles and 7 cans (if you’re into that kind of thing), Stout’s selection will make your mouth water.  They have your Chicago-brewed classics like Goose Island, Revolution, Lagunitas and some other eclectic local options such as Three Floyds, Apex Predator and Two Brothers.

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As for their food, there are a few different avenues you can take.  They offer many sandwich options if you’re going for a lighter meal.  This was my intention when I ordered the chicken soup, but I ended up with a bowl double the size of my head in front of me.  I couldn’t even make a dent.  It was so good but way too big for one person, so keep that in mind!

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We also ordered a side of their cornbread. DO IT. So worth it!!!

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Also pictured is the skirt steak sandwich.  The sandwich comes with fried onions and jalapenos on a French roll so don’t think you’ll be eating much else if this is route you decide to take!

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We went relatively early for dinner and we were able to sit right down.  Stout is open until 3 AM and has been known to attract a later crowd with their Late Night Menu.  Given the impression I got from dinner, consider Stout for your late night cravings and you won’t be disappointed!

Stout Barrel House and Gallery: 9/10

Bar Siena

Alright friends, I know it has been a minute but here is the latest I’ve got for the Chicago-West Loop area.  Bar Siena is located off of Randolph and Green Street.  Established in 2015, Bar Siena was created after the original location (Siena Tavern) in River North.  The inspiration came from a small restaurant in Siena, Italy that is a favorite of the creators.  Bar Siena’s location in the West Loop allowed the atmosphere to be much closer to what they were looking for when they created Siena Tavern.

Everything comes as it is ready, and is recommended that you share.  With this style in mind, we started with two appetizers.  The first, pictured below, is the roasted meatballs.  Due to size I would not suggest ordering this appetizer to supplement your meal unless you are mentally prepared to share it with your friends!  They were a little on the spicy side, but very juicy and delicious.  The fresh ricotta on top was a nice touch, as well.

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Next we had the Burrata Wedge topped with pickled red onions, spicy pork coppa, and last but not least, heirloom tomatoes.

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As for dessert, Bar Siena’s eclectic menu provides a small list of options that are each amazing.  One of the fan favorites is the S’mores Monkey Bread.  On the fence between that and their bombobar selection- I went with the latter.  Bombobar is an Italian term meaning “a holeless doughnut”.  Their selection includes:

  • original (without any filling)
  • salted caramel
  • mixed berry
  • maple buttercream
  • vanilla bean custard
  • peanut butter and jelly
  • nutella cream
  • and a seasonal option

Pictured below are the nutella cream (top right), salted caramel (top left), and mixed berry (bottom).

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The bombolini (plural for bombobar) were to die for.  On the outer edge of the restaurant (side facing N Green Street) is a walk up window just for their deserts and bambolini.  I may or may not have gone back to the walk up just to experience the bambolini a second time…

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Bar Siena is my favorite restaurant I have gotten the chance to experience in Chicago thus far.  The atmosphere is comfortable and unique enough to make you want to come back.  One of the establishment’s signature features is the giant glowing tree custom-made by local ironworkers that starts at the base of the bar on the first floor and expands upwards into the second floor creating an unconventional chandelier in the restaurant.  The first image below is the view of the ironwork from the main level and the bottom image is from the top floor.

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Bar Siena 10/10