Boheme in Montrose Launches New Menu With Instagram-Famous Turkish Chef
Boheme, located at 307 Fairview, has long been one of the most popular spots for hangouts, casual date nights and drag brunches in Montrose, but it’s been a while since much has been said about the food. That’s about to change, as it retained Turkish chef and restaurateur Ismet Saz to develop a dozen new dishes which will debut on Wednesday, November 15. (Don’t worry: customer favorites such as the Vietnamese Fries and Truffle Mushroom Pizza aren’t going anywhere.)
While Saz may not yet be well-known in Houston, with over 145,000 Instagram followers, the owner of the restaurants Stefano and Bronco in Istanbul has certainly made his mark on social media. Saz, who first started learning the hospitality business at TUREM (the Private Anatolian Hotel Management and Tourism Vocational High School, under the Ministry of Tourism in Turkey), has a résumé that includes working for chef Gordon Ramsay as sous chef at The London Hotel in New York and as head chef of upscale Dean & Deluca’s Istanbul location. (The gourmet grocer once had 37 locations before it filed for bankruptcy and closed most stores in 2019, including its iconic location in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. While it emerged from bankruptcy in 2021, it has yet to resurface with new locations.)
In addition, Boheme, which as of late has only been serving lunch on Fridays and brunch on the weekends, is about to start serving the midday meal on all weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fresh new cocktails are also debuting alongside Saz’s dishes.
While you might assume that Saz’s new menu for Boheme would lean heavily on Turkish cuisines, it has international scope — fitting for a space that sports Zimbabwean Shona stone sculptures in the garden-like patio and antique European fixtures indoors.
Many of the new dishes make for great, light appetizers or bar bites, including arancini, addictive, golden-fried risotto balls filled with mushrooms and cheese, artichoke hearts with chive dipping sauce, Duck Roll, a savory phyllo pastry filled with duck and accompanied by housemade barbecue sauce and Cauliflower Wings. One clear nod to Saz’s heritage are the sumac-spiced, beef-filled manti — Turkish dumplings — served atop butter-yogurt sauce.
Other ways to kick off a meal is with a beet and goat cheese salad drizzled in creamy, caramel dressing, or either the onion or parsnip soup. (Parsnips aren’t showcased often, so it will be interesting to see how this soup is.)
Other dishes to consider are Salmon Lax (probably prepared similarly to gravlax, a type of cured salmon) served with traditional accompaniments of potato hash and sour cream, the Boheme Truffle Burger with an Angus beef patty accented by truffle aioli, onion rings, grilled mushrooms and fries alongside, and Bistecca Pita Pockets filled with beef filet, provolone cheese, greens and tapenade.
There are two desserts, too: Spicy Chocolate Mousse and Butter Bread Pudding drizzled with Madagascar vanilla glacé.
“We are delighted to welcome the incredibly talented Chef Ismet Saz to our Boheme family, and we are excited to share his culinary brilliance with our valued patrons,” said owner Morgan Holleman via a press release. “At Boheme, we’ve always strived to provide a unique blend of diverse flavors, entertainment, and community. With this remarkable new menu and extended lunch hours, combined with the new dining tables and chairs we are adding in the coming weeks, we are taking that commitment to a whole new level.”
The cocktails, refreshed in time for autumn and crafted with housemade syrups, have a celestial theme. The new entries lean on traditional fall flavors, including Orion on Pumpkin with vodka, Kahlua, pumpkin syrup and allspice dram, garnished with a cinnamon stick and topped with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg; Aurora Borealis in Love with London dry gin, Campari, Lilet, rosemary-grapefruit syrup, orange bitters and rosemary garnish (charred a bit to release the fragrance); and Bliss of Andromeda with gin, sage-peppercorn syrup, lemon, Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic and a sage leaf garnish.
When (if?) the weather finally gets cool again, guests will get to warm up with mulled wine tinged with ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, honey and citrus zest, hot rum toddy or Irish coffee.
All combined, it sounds like Boheme’s new offerings will be well worth exploring, whether on its popular patio or seated in the cozy interior. Starting on November 15, the new hours will be Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Updated, 11/16/2023, 9:06 a.m.: We initially received incorrect information on the business name. It is simply “Boheme” and the article has been updated to reflect that.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.