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First Look: Boeufhaus

By Melissa McEwen in Food on Apr 28, 2015 2:10PM

55-day dry aged ribeye with bearnaise sauce and roast mushrooms (photo by Melissa McEwen)

Boeufhaus opened quietly a few weeks ago on a stretch of Ukrainian Village that has managed to make itself a destination spot. This gorgeous brasserie with copper-topped tables and bar is the exact restaurant you are going to choose if you want fine dining before heading out to a show at The Empty Bottle or for a cocktail (or two) at Sportsman's Club.

Crudite (photo by Melissa McEwen)

When the crudite came to the table, I knew this was a restaurant to take seriously. A beautiful little cornucopia of delicate fresh vegetables from Romanesco broccoli to ramps served with a green goddess dressing heady with the aroma of basil. After that we enjoyed fleischschnaka, an Alsatian dish that means "meat snails." These were savory bursts of pork sausage wrapped up in fresh pasta in a bath of tender red-wine-braised shallots. The polenta was fluffy and creamy, but the escargot tapenade on top didn't add enough salt to the dish.

You can think of Boeufhaus is to beef as Tete Charcuterie is to pork. Both are centered around a particular meat but have menus that are more ambitious than just raw carnivorism. However, Tete's signature pates are a lot more interesting than steak can ever be. The steak I had here was good and cooked perfectly, but tasted the same as every good steak I've ever had. But there is no denying that steak is a crowd pleaser and I have to imagine it subsidizes the rest of the menu. And sometimes you simply do want a good steak and there aren't many other places in the area to get one of a similar quality.

Citrus salmon (photo by Melissa McEwen)

If you do order the steak and want to balance it out, the beautifully arranged tart citrus salmon with bright salty-tart pickles that our waiter recommended does that perfectly. We finished off the meal with an almost savory pistachio financier topped with brown butter ice cream.

Financier (Photo by Melissa McEwen)

Boeufhaus is a surprisingly ambitious restaurant and certainly more than just a steakhouse. Right now it's not too crowded, but it won't be that way for long.