Band of Bohemia: The First Michelin-Starred Brewpub

Band of Bohemia First Michelin Star BrewpubWith more than half a dozen breweries in Ravenswood, nearly all of which opened in the last five years, the district is quickly becoming the beer center of Chicago.

 

But the star of the neighborhood is Band of Bohemia. Though it sounds like a hippie collective of rockers, this brewpub is the first ever to receive a Michelin star. The beer is bizarre, but phenomenal—a wheat and rye ale infused with orange zest and chicory and beets; stouts made with charred fennel and toasted coriander. While beer is the cornerstone of Band of Bohemia, and the menu takes all of its cues from the rotating ales on tap, the cuisine is consummate.

 

Selecting the tasting menu is the best approach. Though it rotates, during my visit, it featured five innovative dishes paired with five of their curious beers. There was an ale with Jasmine tea and rice, both toasted and raw, that had inspired and complemented the sea urchin with foamed tofu, crisp apple, trout roe, and burnt nori that created a symphony of flavor, sound, and texture on the palate. Their wheat ale with fenugreek and pear paired incredibly with artichoke and lump crab. The dish was dressed in hollandaise and roe, smothered beneath a shrimp veil, and garlanded with cilantro leaves and purple pansies.

 

Band of Bohemia First Michelin Star Brewpub

 

The courses that followed only grew in complexity and wonder and incredibleness. I’ve never had gnocchi so soft, or pesto made of nettles, or drops of curry sauce on a plate (as opposed to bowls of it), or croutons composed of rice and brown sugar, or deconstructed Thai key lime pie presented like something meant for a glass box and a do not touch sign.

 

Band of Bohemia offers a culinary experience that, by itself, is reason enough to travel to Chicago. And the chef’s tasting menu at $85, and bumped $20 by pairing all five dishes with a beer, is one of the best ways to experience all the flavors and creations at this most affordable Michelin-star restaurant.

 

Band of Bohemia First Michelin Star Brewpub

Posted on by Noah Lederman in I Ate What?

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