Restaurant Review: Band of Bohemia

Hello My Fellow Foodie,

If you’ve been around here for a while, whether you follow me on my Social channels or subscribe to my blog, you know that I have an obvious love for fashion. My other true love though comes in the form of food. As happy as I would be to dive into a freshly steamed pile of Christian Siriano dresses, I’d be equally as happy stuffing my face with medium rare lamb chops and truffle mac n cheese. My mouth is just salivating thinking about it.

That’s why when I was asked by a coworker to cofound a lady’s supper club, it was a true no brainer. And then I thought, well this would be a perfect opportunity to document my (hopefully) delicious endeavors and report back to you as to whether these hot spots are worth your hard-earned dollars. So here I am, reporting out on my first supper club experience. Read on to gorge yourself with my Band of Bohemia review.

Band of Bohemia was the first restaurant we all wanted to explore. A hop skip and a jump away from the Loop, it is strategically located in Ravenswood right off the Metra train stop. You can’t miss it as soon as you step out on the platform. Location was convenient and there’s even some parking if you wish to drive. At this point, it was so far so good.

Walking into the joint was surprising. It is ginormous in there. It was dimly lit but decorated to the nines. Think warehouse shabby chic with a variety of seating options, an inviting bar area and open kitchen. There was candlelight, soft, jewel-toned couches, drapery and an expansive bar top area. While waiting for our table, our group situated ourselves at the bar to grab a drink. I would say the inside itself is a great selling point. Okay, still so far so good.

To be completely honest, I think the drinks were, in my opinion, the best part of the entire experience. Band of Bohemia is actually a brewery as well as a restaurant. Not only do they have a fully stocked bar, but the menu offers up a wide array of specialty cocktails and craft brews. Inventive, innovative and imaginative is how I would describe these colorful concoctions. Out of the box ingredients complemented the more usual cocktail combinations. I had the Lazy Daisy, Magic Wand and I indulged in one of their locally-crafted Pale Ales. All were spectacular. Another really high selling point for this place.

Food wise. This is where the place missed the mark for me. It was what I was gearing up for the entire planning period. It fell flat. I guess going into it, given the name, I expected the cuisine to be either Middle Eastern or Asian. In reality, it was kind of a mix of a lot of things. A more gastropub of global eclectic food, which I really appreciated. Regardless of what you want to call it, what we had was fine, some of it amazing, but it didn’t completely blow my socks off. Some of the items we got off the menu included: Walleye Crudo, the Octopus starter, I ordered the Halibut with Pineapple three ways as an entree and Garam Masala Ice Cream dessert , but I would say the best taste any of us took that night was the Dill dessert. It was refreshing and something that I’ve never tasted before. That’s coming from me, someone who doesn’t even like sweets and my favorite thing on the menu was their dessert.

Portions were also pretty insubstantial. I think I actually left there and went home to eat some leftovers because I was still hungry and maybe that’s where I left not fully satisfied. Perhaps if I left feeling sufficiently full, the food would have been better perceived. Like I said, the food was not terrible, it was good, but just okay. If someone planned a night and picked this place as their dinner spot, sure I’d join (mainly for drinks and dessert) but would I voluntarily go there again myself…probably not.

Overall, I would give Band of Bohemia a 5 out of 10. It was fine, there’s really no other words I can think of to describe it. If you are choosing between a few options and this Ravenswood spot is one of them, I’d advise maybe considering elsewhere first. This joint does have a Michelin Star and a very high-rated Brunch menu though and that means something to me, so maybe I need to give it another shot.

Sincerely,

Favorite Starbucks Holiday Drinks

Happy Sunday Loves,

People often become attached to certain brands. If you’re going to buy paper towels and dish soap, you may choose Target over Walmart because you have had a better experience and find the brand more attractive (that’s a real life example for me). When it comes to coffee, I am a loyal Starbucks consumer. I will always choose them over Starbucks’ competitors because I think their products just taste better and I love the crafty variations.

As the seasons change, so do my drink orders. This past Summer, I was an Iced Caramel Macchiato and Very Berry Hibiscus kind of girl. Fall, I’m married to Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Starbuck’s new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Winter has hit hard and fast in Chicago this year, or at least it feels like it has. While I am on my commute to work every morning, I find it a necessity to have a piping hot Starbucks cup in my hand to keep me warm. If you’re the same way, or if you’re looking for a new drink to try as we transition into the holiday season, here are some of my favorite Winter Starbucks drinks!

Caramel Brulee Latte – Starbucks has this holiday drink every season. It is the perfect mix of espresso, steamed milk, caramel Brulee sauce and caramel pieces. It’s sweet while still having that quintessential coffee taste. Basic but delicious!

Blonde Eggnog Latte – This is a classic holiday favorite made with steamed eggnog and the Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast topped with nutmeg. It feels like Christmas Eve night in a cup.

Vanilla Latte – If you’re not one for fancy concoctions, the Starbucks Vanilla Latte is a staple drink. This is the perfect drink for the coffee lover who prefers a subtle sweet treat.

Hot Caramel Macchiato – In the Summer I drink this cold, in the Winter I get it HOT. I love how frothy this Starbucks year-round favorite is. Steamed milk, vanilla-flavored syrup matched with all of the important espresso notes finished with caramel drizzle. Hands down, probably my favorite overall Starbucks drink!

Cold Chai Tea Latte with Soy Milk and Three Pumps of Cinnamon Dolce – So that was a mouth full…BUT my friend introduced this drink to me a few years back and I always have to get it around this time. It tastes like Christmas in a cup. This is the only drink I’d get cold during the Winter months. It is so good, trust me!

Please leave any of your favorite Winter Starbucks drinks below! I am always looking to mix it up, so all suggestions are welcomed and encouraged. I hope you try at least one from my list and love it as much as I do!

Sincerely,