Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, August 11th - Bohemian Gastropub - a very ungastrounpub experience

the Bohemian Gastropub - Choucroute Garnie
When I want advice on somewhere new yet off beat to eat in Toronto, my cousin H is a reliable expert. My own real life lady who lunches, she always has a stash of recommendations for me. So with mom babysitting, H asked me what I might want to eat. Typically, in Toronto, I like to go for Thai at least once. As Vancouver is to Sushi, Toronto is to Thai. The opposite is equally true, Vancouver is NOT to Thai, as Toronto is NOT to Thai :-). But with lil T I knew I might not be dning out too often this visit, even with the babysitter aka mom, so I chose rather to explore. I told H I craved a Gastro Pub. I heard they were becoming big in the TDot. So she recommended the Bohemian.

Now, I used to live in England and know from good Gastro pubs and the first thing that struck me was how UNpubby the Bohemian was. All clean lines and walls with big wood tables, it was perhaps a yuppy take on what Martha would want a pub to be but a pub it wad not. Or am I missing something? Is it a semantics thing. This is what Gastro pub means in Toronto. Don't misunderstand me. It was nice just not a pub.

A Gastro pub in its original sense, are those little cozy, dark pubs, real pubs, that have ventured beyond the traditional bags of crisps or Pad Thai and decided to hire a proper chef. So you walk into what looks like your granddad's pub and to your wonder, is this astonishing menu.

The decor and the malapropism aside, the other odd bit was the food. It was quite pubby fare. Is that it? Reverse Gastro pubs? Is that a thing? Well, it was not English pub fare though. It was more, central/eastern European. Perhaps that was given away in the name, a region in the Czech Republic. That means heavy, rib sticking, meaty eats. I was in for it, eek.

the Bohemian Gastropub -Bratwurst Spatzel Poutine
H ordered the Choucroute Garnie and I ordered the fish of the day, a Trout on a solid Potato Pave block. We shared a Spatzel Poutine as well. J arrived later and ordered a Reuben Tarte Flambe (flatbread).

Fish of the Day with Potato Pave
The Fish was dry and the Potato was very bland. And not bland for lack of seasoning just without flavour. H  liked her Sauerkraut okay. Nothing to rave about or gastro-ey about it. I was quite looking forward to the Spatzel Poutine, unfortunately, it was quite a disappointment. The Spatzel itself was fine but there was a shamefully small amount of Cheese Curds and there was no sauce to speak of, just the fat from the sausage I hadn't expected. I can eat around the Sausage but the lack of sauce on something they dare to call a Poutine is unforgivable. J's flatbread was fine though a tad light on the meat and on the small side.

the Bohemian Gastropub -Reuben Tarte Flambe
Overall, not the Gastro nor Pub experience I was looking for.  Food was disappointing and the ambiance was crazy loud.  I could barely hear my friends over a 2 ft table. Service was lacking to compensate. The staff was nice enough but quite slow. As well for the couple of hours we were there, we had three servers and had to re order our drinks twice. It wasn't jam packed so there was little excuse for it.

Service: friendly but poor
Ambiance: LOUD LOUD, chic and unpubby
Cost: $$$

The Bohemian Gastropub
(416) 361-6154
Queen West
571 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5V
The Bohemian Gastropub on Urbanspoon


1 Leave a / Read COMMENTs:

Teena in Toronto said...

We were there yesterday and weren't impressed.