My initial review of Boca (Kitchen * Bar * Market) was based on experiences at brunch and lunch. They were both great, so I had no doubt dinner would be equally delightful. Last night, I met a group of friends there, and no one was disappointed with the offerings.
Blair insisted on trying the Boca charcuterie plate, which came with two cheeses, two piles of cured sliced meat, and some secondary items for accessorizing. Since I’m not aÂ charcooteree person, I abstained, minus a nibble of the bleu cheese (which was more moist than most) and just one of the glazed almonds. Everyone else loved it, though. Lovely wooden board.
We also ordered a plate of roasted peppers to start, which were many, and varying levels of fire-breath-inducing. They were quite delicious, if you like peppers, and like heat. The portion size is generous. Enough for a table of 5, and then some.
I opened my main meal with a house salad, which is very simple: soft but crisp bibb lettuce, chives, mint leaf, and champagne vinaigrette. Sometimes less is more, and in the age when salads can have more calories than entrees, I can appreciate simplicity. It was delicious.
I opted for the cobia fish special as my entree (pictured at the beginning), which was really quite wonderful. Although I’m no trained chef, I’d chance a guess and say cobia is known for its robust flaky structure (not a mushy fish), but with a more buttery flavor than tilapia or other white fish. I was happy. Bravo Boca! Blair and Steven both had red meat, which I didn’t try, but heard was magical. Stacey ordered chicken, but couldn’t finish the nearly whole chicken that came out. And I can’t remember what Stephen ordered…? Whoops. I’m sure it was lovely.
For dessert we ordered one of everything, which was: a chocolate merlot tart (yum!), key lime pie (good but not remarqable), pecan pie (all mine!!), and a bowl of chambord sabayon with fresh berries, which were delicious and simple (!). God I love simple decadent things. I forgot to take pictures in my brief love affair with the pecan pie. Forgive me.
All in all, I’d say I’m fully sold on Boca now. I hope it stays. And I hope they get more business than they can handle during the RNC, which will be in Tampa later this month. Visitors would be remiss to overlook such a great, local, hot, spot.