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A wonderfully atmospheric restaurant in the vaulted basement of Waterford’s Chamber of Commerce building, La Bohème immediately took its rightful place as the area’s leading fine dining destination when well known Breton chef Eric Thèze and his wife, Christine, restored the fine Georgian building and opened it as a restaurant in 2006.
Elegant, smart and stylish with a lovely French vibe it has, in their own words, “the heart and soul of a kitchen, with the warmth and character of a home”.
The couple say that the building endeared itself to them because it reminded them of the great kitchens of the French chateaux, and the menus and website make fond references to a “Taste of France in the heart of Waterford” - but, while the cooking is emphatically modern classic French, what is especially endearing to us is the way that Eric has embraced Irish, and especially Waterford, foods with such wholehearted enthusiasm.
Always a great supporter of local producers and suppliers, Eric counts himself lucky to have top quality food producers on the doorstep, in Waterford and the neighbouring counties (“Fresh, free range, organic and delivered daily is like music to our ears”), and takes pride in showcasing the region’s produce to the benefit of both the local community and visitors.
Like every great chef, Eric knows that the success of his cooking depends on having the very best ingredients to work with and he likes nothing better than to champion ‘Our wonderful suppliers’. The meats at La Bohème, for example, come mainly from Dawn Meats, a respected County Waterford business that supplies Hereford and Irish Angus beef, pork belly and the region’s renowned Comeragh Mountain Lamb, while free range chicken and pork come from Butlers Family Farm near Mullinavat, in neighbouring Co Kilkenny - where visitors are welcome to come and see what was originally a hobby and is now a successful farm enterprise in its own right.
French chefs seem to have a special affinity with wild game and, with Jason Conway’s Elda Wild Irish Venison up the road at Dunhill, seasonal supplies of local wild venison and other game meats are not a problem for this kitchen - and, since Waterford city is blessed with having the fishing ports of Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay nearby, the same can be said of fresh fish and shellfish, which is supplied by Billy Burke Fishmongers and also the father and son team, James and Maurice O’Rourke, who supply all of the lobster that is sold in the restaurant.
The South-East of Ireland is great growing country and there’s no shortage of superb seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs, which are supplied by a number of specialist growers including Tom Cleary of Campile, Co Wexford, an organic producer whose range includes some unusual vegetables, such as kohlrabi and celeriac, and Grantstown Nurseries at Ballygunner, who specialise in tomatoes and strawberries that are picked only when fully ripe and delivered the same day.
Another specialist farm, Halley Fruits of Newrath, supplies soft fruit in season - loganberries, raspberries, blackberries, and currants - and there’s even a weekly delivery of exotic mushrooms from Nick and Catherine George’s Fancy Fungi, produced near Ballyhogue in Co Wexford.
There’s great dairy produce too, of course, notably the wonderful local sheeps’ cheese, Knockalara, made near Cappoquin since 1990 by the Schliebitz family, and a range from Sheridans Cheesemongers who - along with Larousse Foods - also supply other speciality foods and deli products.
But the star of them all, perhaps, is the modest little Waterford Blaa, a floury yeast roll that dates back to the arrival of the Huguenots from France in the 17th century; providing an unusual link with France that fascinates visitors, it was awarded PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) by the European Commission in 2013. Waterford Blaas are supplied to La Bohème by M&D Bakery, one of only four bakeries producing this unique little bread roll.
The drinks list will also be a great read for anyone interested in provenance, as - in addition to the carefully selected wine offering - there is an extensive list of craft beers and ciders, nearly all of which are Irish and most of which are produced in Waterford and the neighbouring counties.
If the supplier list says as much about a restaurant as its menus, La Bohème is a very special destination in a special city - and, with excellent service and good value also in the mix, it is not to be missed.
We promise an intimate and relaxed dining experience that offers something different to patrons and ensures you enjoy a memorable food experience every time. Chef Eric Theze has created a variety of menus using the finest local, seasonal produce.
MARKET MENU €36.00 per person
Soup of the Day
Cauliflower Crème Brulée, Serrano ham, Grilled Green Asparagus, Orange Vinaigrette, Baby Leaves
Caramelised Pork Belly, Poached Pear, Tomato and Vanilla Jam, Seasonal Organic Greens
Risotto of fresh Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, Scallions, Toasted Hazelnuts Pepper Coulis, Pecorino Shavings
Our house Smoked Salmon, Crab Salad Quenelle, Sesame Seed Feuilleté, Crunchy Vegetables, Wasabi Mayonnaise, pickled cucumber
Chargrilled Irish 8oz Angus Ribeye Steak, Roquefort Cheese & Port Cream Sauce or Garlic Butter (€4.00 suppl.)
Oven Roast Guinea Fowl, Breast & Confit of Leg, Poelle of Wild Irish Mushrooms, Garlic & Foie Gras Sauce, Spring Cabbage
Crispy Housemade Confit of Duck, Spinach, Caramelized Snowball Turnip, Orange & Star Anis Sauce
Baked Dunmore East Hake, Courgette Flan, Glazed Carrots, Tomato Confit, Martini & Vanilla Sauce
Oven Roast Filet of Irish Salmon, Chunky Grantstown Tomato Sauce, Fennel Shavings, Estate Olive Oil, Roast Garlic
Vegetarian Dish of the Day
All main courses are accompanied by potato and vegetable of the day
Warm Dark Chocolate Fondant, Hazelnut Ice Cream (€3.00 suppl)
Brittany Sable, Raspberry Confit, Lemon Financier, Citrus Cream, Raspberry Sorbet
“La Boheme” Creme Brulée
Local Organic Rhubarb Mille Feuille, Vanilla Mascarpone, Apple Jelly
Artisan farmhouse cheese plate with accompaniments (€5.00 supp)
(a discretionary 10% service charge is added to parties of 6 or more)
A LA CARTE
Cream of Field Mushroom Soup, Hazelnut & Dill Creme Fraiche, Brioche Croutons €6.50
Glazed Slow Cooked Fenor Farm Pork Belly, Poached Pear & Christmas Chutney, Seasonal Greens €9.75
Tom Cleary Organic Cauliflower & Bayonne Ham Risotto, Baby Spinach, Nutmeg, Toasted Walnuts, Parmesan Shavings €10.50
Croustillant of Fresh Irish Goats Cheese, Basil & Honey, Beetroot Confit, Piquillo Pepper Coulis €10.00
Foie Gras Parfait, Gingerbread Biscuit, Mount Congreve Quince and Plum Compote, Port Jelly €12.00
Carpaccio of Irish Beef Filet, Black Peppercorn Crust, Parmesan Shavings, Lemon Juice & White Truffle Oil €12.50
L'Assiette de Noel: Creme Brulee of Local Crabmeat, House Smoked Salmon, Pickled Vegetables, Dunmore East Fish Terrine, Herbed Mayonnaise €11.50
du Maraicher Vegetarian offering of the Day €19.50
de la Mer
Baked Filet of Irish Salmon, North African "Ras el Hanout" Crust, Cabbage, Couscous, Spiced Ginger and Honey Sauce €24.50
Roast Dunmore East Monkfish "Grenobloise" Celeriac Purée €26.95
Pan-fried Billy Burke Black Sole, Poelle of Cauliflower, Smoked Lardons, Pearl Onions, Sorrel, Noilly Pratt Cream Sauce €28.50
de la Terre
Char grilled Irish 8oz Angus Rib eye Steak €26.95
OR 8oz Filet of Irish Angus Beef, Green Peppercorn & Cognac Cream Sauce, Sweet Potato Crisps, Shallot Petals €29.95
Pan-seared Barbary Duck Breast, Braised Red Cabbage, Poached Pear, Spiced Port Sauce €25.95
Roast Rump of Waterford Lamb, Parsnip Puree, Sautéed Cep & Girolle Mushrooms, Thyme Jus €26.95
*All main courses accompanied by a selection of seasonal vegetable and potato of the day
Warm Dark Chocolate Fondant, Salty Caramel Ice Cream €8.95
‘La Bohème’ Classic Crème Brulée €8.25
Opera Entremet with a Spanish Twist, Chocolate, Blood Orange €8.50
Pear & Almond Clafoutis, Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream €8.50
‘4’ Mature Artisan Cheese Plate, Crackers, Quince Paste, Homemade Onion Chutney €11.95 (each extra cheese €2.50)
We offer our 3 Course EARLY BIRD MENU from Monday - Wednesday all evening long; Thursday & Friday until 6:45; and Saturday from 5:30 - 6:30 2 Courses are available from Monday - Friday until 6:45
Sample Menu and subject to change.
Soup du jour or French Onion Soup Gratinée
Classic Caesar Salad, Black Olive Croutons
Chef’s daily changing Starter – ask you server
Crème brulée of Local Crabmeat & Garden Herbs glazed with Parmesan Cheese
Roast Free Range Chicken, Saffron & Pea Risotto, Crispy Chorizo, Piquillo Pepper, Rocket Pesto
Char-grilled 8oz Irish Angus Rib-eye Steak with Garlic Butter or Green Peppercorn & Cognac Cream Sauce (€4.00suppl)
Fresh Catch of the Day – please ask your server
Pork Belly, Onion Mashed Potatoes, Rocket Leaves, Ginger & Honey Sauce
Vegetarian Dish of the Day
All Main Courses are accompanied by Potato and Vegetable of the Day
Classic Creme Brulée
Dessert of the Day
Plate of “3” Artisan Farmhouse Cheeses
€29.50 for three courses; €26.00 for two courses *up until 6:45 Monday - Friday* Not available thereafter
(A discretionary 10% service charge is added to parties of 6 or more)
We support local suppliers and producers for a number of reasons. Buying locally benefits the community economically and showcases quality local produce both to our visitors and the local community. County Waterford, the neighbouring counties and a little farther afield are rich in top quality food producers and we are very lucky to have them on our doorstep. Fresh, free range, organic and delivered daily is like music to our ears and most definitely our motto when sourcing food products to use on our menus.
Our wonderful suppliers:
Wild Irish Venison Dunhill County Waterford
M&D Bakery, Mount Sion, Waterford City
The Waterford Blaa
Tom Cleary Campile, County Wexford
Organic Salads and Vegetables
Ballybeg Horticultural Initiative, Ballybeg, Waterford City
Vegetables, Herbs, Salads and even our flowerboxes outside the restaurant
Billy Burke Fishmongers
Fish and Shellfish
Black and Herbal Teas
Larousse Foods, County Dublin
Meat, Cheese, Vegetables, Dry Goods, Chocolates, Duck, miscellaneous
Butlers Family Farm
Free Range Chicken and Pork
James and Maurice O’Rourke, County Waterford
Fish and Shellfish
Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, Galway
Cheese, Crackers, Charcuterie, Olive Oil, Ortiz Tuna, Vinegars
Grantstown Nurseries, Ballygunner, County Waterford
Tomatoes and Strawberries
Knockalara Sheep’s and Killeen Goats Cheese, Cappoquin
Cow's, Sheep's & Goat's Cheese.
Dawn Meats, Co.Waterford
Pork Belly, Irish Angus and Hereford Beef, Comeragh Lamb
Fancy Fungi, Galbally, Ballyhogue, County Wexford
Musgrave’s Cash and Carry, County Waterford
Dry Goods, Drinks, Paper Goods
Halley Fruits – Newrath, County Waterford
Loganberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Black and Red Currants
Bookings: 051 875 645
Monday through Saturday
from 5:30pm until late
Open Friday for lunch
Open Bank Holiday Sundays
Reservations from 11am Daily
“Just Ask!” is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat) on their plate comes from, and encourages chefs to provide this information on their menus. The programme supports both large and smaller artisan suppliers, encouraging both Irish diners and visitors from abroad to support restaurants that are in turn supporting their suppliers.
Here at Georgina Campbell Guides we have always been avid supporters of the ‘eat local’ concept, and we always enjoy reading menus that have a real sense of place. The dining experience is greatly enriched by knowing that the food on your plate is inspired by the produce and traditions of the area, and sourced nearby – and we would love to see more chefs sharing that precious information with their guests.
If you are a visitor to the area, learning a little about local food and the people who produce it adds a special extra dimension to the visit – and, for residents, it reinforces a natural pride in the good things of their locality and makes a meal all the more enjoyable.
So, we are delighted by the high standard of menus that continue to be submitted for our ' “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month Competition', menus that really speak of the best of Irish foods – and the dedication of both the people who make them, and the chefs who select them to create wonderful dishes with real Irish flavour for our enjoyment.