We initially had plans to splurge at Boca for only the second time in our lives, but decided to go the whole hog and start with before dinner drinks and Nada and after dinner sips at Sotto. But the focus of this is going to be all Boca.
Here’s what I want to say about Boca. It is one thing for it to be the best restaurant in the city. It’s another thing for it to be the best restaurant I’ve ever been to. Which it totally and completely is.
From the moment you walk in the door, you are treated to the whole experience. The layout, openness, and décor of Boca is simply stunning. The opulence and grandness of each and every piece is there to truly set the stage for a fine dining experience.
Kenny and I opted for reservations at the Chef’s Table that opened into the kitchen. We went for that because we knew it would be fun and exciting to see how everything is prepared. We made fast friends with one chef, who was actually in from Nada, and he talked us through everything, from how items were prepared to kitchen protocol. It was a blast. Kenny Holocher was thisclose to asking for an apron and jumping in on the line.
But the food. Now we must talk about the food. Having dined once before, each of us went in knowing there were certain things we had to get. I am just going to go ahead and knock out our main courses because they were the non-negotiables.
For me, it was the corn agnolotti. Last time, we just ordered it as a tasting portion, but this time I needed the full portion, to myself, no sharing, keep your fork on your side, I’m serious. It is literally the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. Fluffy pasta, sweet corn, truffle oil. It is rude, quite frankly. My mouth salivates at the thought.
Now we need to jump back to the beginning. We chose two appetizers – the beets and the brussels sprouts – both of which we had our first time around. Each is its own little flavorful art piece. The beets are sweet and creamy with hazelnuts and goat cheese, and the brussles sprouts take something like six hours to make while being stirred every ten minutes. It might not be that extreme but I remember being told it is an insane process. With lots and lots of butter.
Kenny loves bolognese. He’ll order it nine times out of ten if it is on the menu. Since he knew he was doing chicken for dinner, he chose a tasting portion of it. What I remember the most is the pasta. Homemade pasta will always knock it out of the park.
Again, Boca cannot be beat. It is an unbelievable spot that should be reserved for any kind of special occasion or any night that you are deciding to make special. The staff will impress you, the food will floor you, and the being there will make you feel like you are truly somewhere exceptional. I’m refraining from saying something like you’ll feel like you’re in New York because Cincinnati no longer needs to be considered less than a big city. Cincinnati is well on its way towards putting itself on the map. Boca helps that trajectory soar.