Review: BoMa, Columbus

God bless OpenTable. It’s one of the best ways to find a meal when you’re in an unfamiliar place. That’s how I discovered BoMa, in downtown Columbus– and what a gem it is!

BoMa is the former First Baptist Church on E. Broad Street. They’ve completely rehabbed it, and now it’s a restaurant, bar, art gallery, and after dinner hours, it’s a club. I know that some people aren’t into reclaiming abandoned churches for reuse but I disagree: repurpose to your heart’s content. I’d rather see something turned into an Urban Outfitters or restaurant than a parking lot any day. This was a fantastic use of space. I really wish I’d taken more pictures, but the light was dwindling and i didn’t want to be Miss Flashbulb.

If you can’t tell, that’s a movie playing on a screen where the altar used to be. They had Breakfast at Tiffany’s playing the entire time we were there. It was a little distracting, mostly because I love that movie, but it really made the restaurant feel a little avant garde, a little East coast.

Our server was fantastic– I believe his name was Eric. Very attentive, knew the menu very well, and very personable. I took his recommendations without hesitation, and he was pretty spot on. I also discovered that they source locally– local to Columbus, anyway. I’ll apologize a bit for the pictures– the lighting was fairly dim and I haven’t decided to buy a Nikon D40 to whip out and be really, really obvious.

We started off with PB&J. No, don’t stop reading– it was PB&J… foie gras. Instead of peanut butter, they used cashew butter; instead of grape jelly, they used grand marnier marmalade and drizzled black pepper infused honey on the plate. It was topped with watercress– pretty, but superfluous– but overall the taste was amazing. I love the contrast of salty and sweet; throw in rich and I’m sold.

PBJ foie gras

Next up were our entrees– we skipped salads because the waiter said that the desserts were “works of art”. Who needs lettuce when you can have sweets? Terry went with the New York Strip, which was served with creamed leeks, spinach, truffle demi-glace and topped with more foie gras. The strip, which was Angus, was delightfully tender, moist, cooked properly and flavorful and the mellow leeks and spinach balanced nicely with the rich demiglace and foie. Because we didn’t have enough foie with the appetizer, you know.

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I had trouble deciding between salmon and duck, so I took the waiter’s suggestion of salmon. It was served with two Maryland crab wontons (better known around here as crab rangoon), mushrooms, scallions, and blood orange butter. The crab wontons were okay– a bit underfilled, which made the filling a bit pasty– with not quite enough crab. The sustainable salmon (major points!) was overcooked just a bit (take a few points off, there), but not enough to make it unpalatable. The blood orange butter was great, as were the mushrooms and scallions. It was not the best meal I’ve ever had, but I give them a lot of credit for being experimental and incredibly artistic. The plating on every dish, without exception, was beautiful.
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We each got dessert, which is rare, as we both wanted something different: he wanted chocolate, I wanted fruit. We both wanted coffee, which was French press (my favorite!). I got the pineapple mille feuille, which was pineapple encrusted with coconut and topped with mille feuille cookies. You’ll have to take my word for it– it was sweet and the caramelized sugar in the pineapple was fantastic. I love grilled pineapple. Terry ordered the chocolate silk, which was incredibly rich– two pieces were served and he ate about half of one. He actually wished he had gotten something else, it was filling but not quite what he was looking for. Unfortunately, no pictures– the light was just too dim.

In all? I’d definitely go back and get the duck instead of the salmon– I saw it come by on a tray and it looked great. The surroundings were interesting, the food was inspired– the next time you’re in Columbus, try it out.

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  • KT

    Too funny when I am on someone elses blog and recognize food. For the Sex and the City premier BOMA had a fashion show beforehand. Next time you are in CBUS try Z Cucina on Grandview Avenue. Or Due Amici on Gay Street. Due Amici has a very cool vibe and great food. Isn’t Open Table the best???

  • Julie

    I love Open Table! I’ll definitely try one of your suggestions– always looking for new places to go in Columbus!