The Böhemian Gastropub, the new casual restaurant from executive chef and owner Paul Boehmer (Böhmer), stands out from the takeout joints and bars that dominate its section of Queen West. Built on the site of the now-defunct Oh Boy Burger Market (whose menu Boehmer consulted on), Böhemian, which opened last Friday, arrives just in time for the first residents of the new Queen and Portland Condominium and Lofts.
The Roy Banse–designed space is casual and modern, with plush tan banquettes, whitewashed walls and skinny pendant lamps that dangle over reclaimed wood tables. The long dining room, split into two sections, comfortably seats 60. In the front room there’s a sunny bar with 12 beers on tap and a tall, focal harvest table (similar to the one at Böhmer) with three neat bouquets of light bulbs dangling above. The hushed rear dining room is flanked by a deep open kitchen. Here diners can watch the action, led by chef de cuisine Chris Scott (formerly of L.A.B.).
The food at the Böhemian Gastropub is a departure from that of Boehmer’s Ossington restaurant. Instead of Canadian cuisine, expect playful takes on rustic, home-style German and Alsatian food. Traditional dishes are reinvented, like Maultaschen ($18), a ravioli-like dish with lamb shoulder and a lamb bacon broth, or the hunter schnitzel sandwich ($12) with sautéed mushrooms, red onion chutney and a homemade bacon mayonnaise tucked inside a homemade cheese-and-onion bun. Instead of smothering currywurst ($10) with a saccharine curry-ketchup, Scott fills a soft New England–style hot dog bun with a homemade sausage seasoned with house-made curry paste and Boehmer’s grandmother’s mango chutney. Where possible, Scott sticks to local and seasonal ingredients, although those ingredients may be subjected to “molecular” techniques—Scott uses vacuum sealing to pickle sunchokes, beets, artichokes and Swiss chard ($7). He also sources some exclusive cult items like Michael Stadtländer’s smoked pork fat, which shows up on the Rueben ($11).
Despite the attention paid to the food, the Böhemian Gastropub is all about beer, either paired with food or used directly in dishes. “Everything starts with beer,” Scott tells us. “Anywhere I can use beer on the menu, I do. For example, I make all our mustards in-house. I use Denison’s weissbier in the white mustard and Mill Street’s organic lager in our honey mustard.” Although the Böhemian Gastropub doesn’t take reservations, it’s open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. until close.
The Böhemian Gastropub, 571 Queen St. W., 416-361-6154, thebohemiangastropub.ca