River North restaurants are some of the hottest and hippest spots in the city, and among this colorful crowd, Boho House is like a cozy escape. Rich, heady Eastern European fare, set in a sophisticated spot that couldn’t feel farther away from the typical boisterous German beer hall. The door is nestled up a flight of stairs from street level, and as soon as you and your date step through, you’ll feel as though you’ve walked into another continent – and maybe another time.
By the soft chandelier light, you glimpse the ornate, gold-framed paintings of cottages and butterflies on the walls, the antiqued wooden tables, the deep teal couches. You feel like you’ve wandered into an archduke’s sitting room (and you’re wondering if he’d be willing to part with one of those couches). Even the bathrooms are classy, with dark wood accents and mirrors that would make any antique lover swoon. You settle into a cushion-covered booth against the exposed brick wall, trying to identify the intoxicating scents coming from the semi-open kitchen: The homey smells of cabbages, potatoes, and pork waft over, but these aren’t exactly your German grandma’s recipes — the spices in the air hint at a more “haute cuisine” take on granny’s fare.
Bohemian House opened this summer and has been gaining both press and a loyal fan base not only for its distinctive look, but also for its fantastic and seasonal cocktail selection and Eastern European menu. Both food and drinks change with the season to keep their tastes as fresh as possible. Right now, you can sip on a Bohemian Bee – a winter warmup with gin, lemon, honey, and sage. Or sample a taste of the Czech Republic with a sweet, malty Praga Dark lager. Get into hearty dishes like potato pancakes and Czech roasted duck, but don’t neglect unique small plates like cauliflower salad topped with a poached egg, and crispy chicken skins. Meanwhile, you can peek around at the ancient-looking sewing machines and other knickknacks perched on the walls, maybe getting some new ideas for how to decorate your apartment.
And what’s a romantic evening without dessert? The flaky, melt-in-your-mouth goodness of the seasonal kolacky selection – which right now is cheese with plum ice cream – is a sweet decadence to cap off a night of satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs traditional plates. Among all the great River North restaurants, you might have found a new date night favorite.