You don’t need a plane ticket to Europe to feel like you’re there this summer–a quick drive to BOhèm Bohemian Bistro in Seven Fields can do just the trick. The rustic design and Euro-centric menu will leave diners feeling like they’ve left Pittsburgh for a bit.
Let’s start with the decor, which owner Markay Harlan proudly explains is both recycled and personal. BOhèm capitalizes on reusing elements to furnish the space situated next to Siba in a small strip mall. The restaurant is small, but comfortable, and bursting with character–much like small bistros in France.
The chandeliers are remnants of wine barrels, the seat backs are feed bags sewn together to create a cover, and decorative wood beams come from a 150-year-old local barn. The tables are rough cut wood, adorned with simple chairs, letting the plates speak for themselves. A close friend of Harlan crafted the corner hearth and it’s adorned with the phrase “alma, corazón, y vita”– soul, heart, and life.
BOhèm offers menu items not often found in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. With small plates meant for sharing, each diner gets a taste of the unique offerings, best described as fresh European tapas with a predominantly French influence.
The grilled brussel sprouts in balsamic and parmesan, dusted with pancetta, are beyond delicious, and, according to the servers, one of the most-ordered dishes. We had to stop ourselves from licking the plate clean when we had other plates coming along. Other small plates include bone marrow, escargot, and, another menu favorite, Prince Edward Island mussels.
Our salads were fresh, lightly dressed, and unique. The beet salad came with savory chevre, crispy pancetta, pea shoots, mandarin oranges, and red onions and was light yet tasty. The star of the mixed greens salad, with its fresh vegetables and farm fresh egg, was the pickled ramps, which our wonderfully attentive and friendly waiter Chris forewarned us had a strong flavor.
BOhèm’s menu features a section of tartines, crepes, and flatbreads, with a variety of styles prepared in one of the aforementioned ways. We opted for the fig and smoky moody blue cheese tartine with duck confit at the recommendation of Chris. Essentially an open-faced sandwich on French bread, the tartine was smoky, cheesy, and sweet, a delightful combination.
We were far too full to try any of the bistro classics, such as roasted chicken with andouille sausage or mac and cheese, but we did order a Nutella crepe from the dessert menu. The large crepe was filled with a light hazelnut chocolate mousse and topped with fresh whipped cream and a strawberry.
Aside from tasty food, BOhèm mimics European dining with their selection of over 100 wines. Harkening back to family vineyards, the restaurant offers liters or quatrinos of bulk Bistro wines, served simply in stemless glasses. With a vartiey of choices, diners can try multiple wines to accompany their many dishes, or choose a cocktail from the fully-stocked bar.
There’s also a charming outdoor area for diners to enjoy their meals.BOhèm has its invite-only grand opening reception on June 27 and will be open for both lunch (Monday-Friday) and dinner (Monday-Saturday) starting the next day. The staff and owners enthusiastically answered questions about the food, wine, concept, and decor. Our experience, from the food to the wine to the atmosphere, was great and we hope to check it out again soon!