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A cozy steakhouse in the Ukrainian Village, Boeufhaus also boasts an excellent wine list and serves up thoughtful vegetable and seafood dishes
The restaurant is called Boeufhaus and its tagline is “eat carnivorously,” which might mislead you into thinking that this is merely a palace of beef, where vegetarians and pescatarians will be left out. You’d be wrong, since the French and German-inflected steakhouse, led by chef Brian Ahern, gives as much thought to its non-meat dishes.
The menu is blessedly focused, and you begin with a mix of snacks and starters. A firework of fresh crudités are beautifully presented in a glass dish and served on ice alongside a creamy Green Goddess dressing. Thin slices of salmon are drizzled with ginger oil, then decorated with pickled mushrooms, chilies and crispy skin. A velvety polenta comes topped with nubs of escargot, a dish I’ll dream about come cold temperatures. A foray into meat led us to the fleischschnacka, pork sausage pinwheels wrapped up in pasta.
The starters are so ridiculously good that it’s a little let down when the meal starts to falter. There are steaks, of course, like the 55-day aged ribeye, pricey for the area at $60 (though not for the city), which is well-salted with a nice funk. But it, and the seared halibut, were served lukewarm, while the bread crumbs atop the cauliflower gratin were burned. Desserts change frequently, which is good, since the tiny apple tart felt like an afterthought. Still, there’s a ton to like here, including the delightful server, who knowledgeably guided us through the wine list. Boeufhaus isn’t perfect, but I’m already thinking about how much I want to return—and I’ll have an excuse, since lunch and a charcuterie program begin soon.
Atmosphere: The room is dark and narrow and it’s precisely where you want to take your next romantic date.
What to eat: Crudite ($6), Creamy Polenta ($12), fleischschnacka ($8)
What to drink: This is the kind of streamlined restaurant beverage program worth applauding—refreshingly, there is no cocktail list, just two $10 off-menu cocktails, plus our server told us they could make any classic we wanted. The cocktails, Pimm’s with mint, vodka and strawberry cucumber syrup, and an old-fashioned with Hunerkopf (German bitters) and genepi, were both perfectly balanced. There are also a handful of beers and a few wines by the glass and more by the bottle. The wine list is excellent—curated by Red & White Wines’ Nathan Adams, it’s packed with winners, like a multidimensional, minerally Muscadet the server paired with the seared halibut.
Where to sit: The tables are small and perfect for a cozy tête-à-tête, while the copper-topped bar spans most of the room and is ideal for dropping by for a quick drink and dinner.
1012 N Western Ave
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sat 6pm-12am|
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