Friday, September 27, 2013

BOhem Bistro

Last Saturday evening, SP & I ventured north to Seven Fields to dine at BOhem Bistro. Cranberry/Seven Fields sounds far away, but it's not that far from our house in Robinson Twp, which I knew because when I lived a wee bit farther south in Carnegie, I worked in Cranberry. It's only about a 25-30 minute drive, which is what it sometimes takes us to get to the city/East Liberty/Squirrel Hill/Highland Park areas, depending on traffic.

Before dinner, we took advantage of heading north, a direction in which we do not normally head, to check out the Whole Foods in Wexford and just drive around the area for a while. I haven't worked in Cranberry for 9 years and when we passed through the area where I did work, I was amazed at how much it has grown.
Happily, by the time we arrived at BOhem Bistro, it was no longer raining. To get to the entrance, we walked through the outdoor dining area, which looks like quite a nice area in which to hang out and have a drink and a few snacks when the weather is nicer. Inside the restaurant is a rustic, cozy dining area. We were able to speak with Kevin, the manager. and he told us that the ceiling beams were reclaimed from a barn in Zelienople and are 150 years old. The back cushion covering is actually feed bags from the same barn:
These huge glass lights are used wine jugs from Italy and the light fixture in the background is made from recycled wine barrel material.
There also is a large wine bottle lighting fixture which the restaurant itself created:
So there is a lot of re-purposed/recycled material.

The tabletop candle is a jar filled with salt - at one point, I snuffed out our flame on my sleeve and consider myself lucky I didn't catch myself on fire!!! I was so not paying attention as I reached for food. I wish I could show SP a picture of his face when that happened!
To start, we each chose a bistro wine. SP chose the merlot/cabernet bistro wine and I chose the sauvignon blanc bistro wine. They arrive in small decanters and are poured into European style wine glasses:
We also enjoyed water, served in a recycled wine bottle. I really like when restaurants leave a bottle of water on the table because SP drinks a lot and this way, they don't have refill his water every time they stop by, he can keep it filled.
BOhem's dishes are meant to be shared, which is perfect for us since we always share our food anyway. We started with the Gorgonzola, Pecan Mousse, and Wine Poached Pear Spread. SP was a little apprehensive since he's usually not much of a fan of blue cheeses, but this spread was so smooth and it was such a mild gorgonzola that he enjoyed it much more than he expected. The cubes of wine poached pear were a nice 'chunky' addition to the smooth spread. Plus, poached pears are one of SP's favorite things. Some might argue the gorgonzola was too mild, but for us, it was just right. It all depends on how strongly flavored you like your blue cheese.
Next up was PEI Mussels with andouille sausage, white wine, garlic butter, tomato concasse. SP loves mussels and he said these were delicious, on par with his favorite places in Pittsburgh for mussels (Point Brugges & Park Bruges). I tried a couple of them and I have to admit I liked them much more than I expected. As it turns out, mussels themselves are just kind of there, they do not have a very distinctive taste, they're just soft and slippery little blobs, a wee bit chewy. It's the added flavoring that makes the mussel, and in this case the bites I tasted had a very nice taste of andouille. They were not very garlicky, which in my book is a terrific thing, but that could be because SP was careful to not give me mussels that were soaking in the liquid but ones from the top of the pile.
Alongside the mussels, we enjoyed Crispy Brussels Sprouts, balsamic glaze, pancetta, parmesan. They were served on a wood plank, just like the gorgonzola spread, and a jar filled with some sprouts.
The photo does not do them justice. I took a lot of photos and they all looked horrible, I think it's just the nature of Brussels sprouts to not photograph well. Most people seem to not like them, and I suspect they are thinking of a box of frozen sprouts removed from the freezer, dumped in boiling water, and served, slightly soggy, with only butter as an additional flavor - the Brussels sprouts of my youth. At home we roast ours with olive oil or some maple or balsamic. These ones were extra decadent and tasty with the shaved parmesan cheese and pancetta bits nestled in with the halved, roasted until soft Brussels and balsamic glaze. So good - these alone are worth the trip to BOhem!
Next up was Fig & Smoked Moody Blue Cheese Flatbread, arugula, balsamic glaze. Once again, SP was amazed by how much he liked the blue cheese. I was surprised by the figs. My mom never bought Fig Newton cookies when I was a kid, so I never tasted fig until I was in my 30's and even then it was a dried fig. I think this was the first time I tried fresh fig. The flavor itself is pleasant, sweet, maybe honey like, as some say, but the one thing that doesn't please me is the tiny seeds. I have the same problem with blueberries that are too seedy (yes, this has happened). That being said, I do like the flavor of figs, especially when paired with blue cheese, and the flatbread was a very nice thickness, had some delicious bubbled parts, and stood up to the toppings (didn't get soggy or wilt).
Crispy Skin Duck Confit, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes Lyonnaise, cherry gastrique. I like duck, but I do not normally choose to order it, so this was a new experience for me! This duck was quite good. The skin was thin and super crispy, really tasty and we fought over who got to eat the skin! This is a great way to prepare duck for me because the meat is thoroughly cooked, no pink. It easily came apart from the bone and melted into bite size pieces. The potatoes were delicious, thinly sliced, soft, and flavored from the duck perched atop them. After the Crispy Brussels Sprouts binge I didn't have any room for more of them, preferring to focus on the duck & potatoes; I only ate one, taking the rest home, but they were a nice pairing with the duck & sweet potato flavors.
HKatfish, blackened, creamed spinach, roasted yam. It was a little too spicy for me, but SP loved it. The creamed spinach was good - I love my veggies in creamy sauces! I also really liked the roasted yam which picked up a hint of the cayenne and other spices from the catfish.
Next up was dessert and we were lucky enough to try several. First, Chocolate Whiskey Cake:
This was delicious. I could taste the whiskey but it wasn't overpowering. The top and edges of the cake were nice and crisp but underneath is was soft and gooey, like a lava cake.
Cheesecake with Berry Compote. This was delicious, too, sort of the 'vanilla' contrast to the chocolate cake. The cheesecake was soft and creamy, not dense and heavy like some can be.
Cinnamon Roll. I love cinnamon rolls! Especially when served with cream cheese icing that melts on top the warm roll. This had lots of cinnamon flavor. I tried my best to finish it, but after eating the chocolate cake and most of the cheesecake, I just couldn't fit the entire roll in my belly.

We left BOhem with our bellies full of tasty food. Our server was attentive, keeping our wine glasses and water glasses full and offering thoughts on the dishes. We really liked the rustic, cozy interior and the attention to using recycled materials. Sitting near the fireplace would be welcoming, warming, and cozy during the chilly winter months. It seems to me that Cranberry is much like Robinson - there's every store and chain restaurant you could wish for, but sometimes you want something different. BOhem Bistro is a place to which we would happily return, especially if meeting up with some of our Wexford/Cranberry area friends.
**Full disclosure, we were invited for a complimentary dinner at BOhem but the photos and thoughts in this post are entirely ours.
BOhèm - Bohemian Bistro on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this!! We live in Cranberry and have almost tried this place a couple times but then changed our minds because we weren't sure it would be 'worth' it!

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