Monthly Archives: November 2007

Bohemia European Cuisine and Bar [Closed]

CLOSED SUMMER 2008

Three words:  Expensive Train Wreck

We wouldn’t bother with any other comments, except the chef at Bohemia is Alberto Baffoni, the original chef/owner of Simposio, which opened a number of years ago to rave reviews, including from the national press.  Not sure where he disappeared over the years, but he lost his mojo.  He’s back at a far Houston location, with limited resources, poor quality ingredients, and a hodgepodge menu of Italian and Eastern European dishes that are priced comparably to Houston’s finest restaurants.    To add to the ethnic mix, there’s belly dancing on Fridays and Saturdays, although not until 10:30 when we doubt there are any diners, given there were only three tables full when we arrived at 8:00 on a recent Saturday night.

The decor is tacky.  The food was disastrous.  And the service was sincere but inept,  starting with the bartender (and self proclaimed sommelier) who poured our Chianti by announcing that he hoped we were ordering meat since that was the only thing you could eat with a Chianti.  Actually, we drink red wine with everything, and we were ordering seafood.  He volunteered that Chianti was too “big” for him, and that he was really a fan of the Barolos, Barberas and Brunellos.  Go figure.

Neither of the featured menu items — the whole grilled branzino or the whole lobster — were available.  (We didn’t realize that branzino is “seasonal” and, if that’s the case, why do you have it on your printed menu?)  And this was a Saturday night at a new restaurant.  The best we could guess was they didn’t anticipate enough diners to invest in pricey, perishable inventory.  The veal tonnato appetizer was inexpensive veal with a bland sauce.  The $31 grilled seafood platter was way overcooked, including inedible salmon.  The three “Secret Sauces” were salsa, balsamic vinaigrette, and tartar sauce.  (We’re not kidding.)  The selected side dish — asparagus and pancetta gratin — showed up as just grilled asparagus.  The pistachios in the $32 pistachio crusted halibut were unrecognizable and burnt, as was the halibut.  The saffron sauce was yellow but otherwise tasteless.  The billed haricot verts that accompanied the halibut were grocery store green beans.

To top things off, a DJ and a lounge singer started in around 9:00; they were mediocre and quite loud.  Although they did help to damper the silence of an empty restaurant.

We’re sorry to be so ugly, but this was really a bad experience.  (Read the review just posted on Houston Citysearch if you think we are critical.)


10850 Westheimer
832/252-7600
http://www.bohemiahouston.com/