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out at boca

September 24, 2014

BocaKenny and I completely outdid ourselves a few Saturdays ago.

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.

Boca kitchenKenny 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.

the Boca kitchen a Boca chef Boca chef Boca chefs Boca print out Nada chefBut 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.

corn agnolottiFor 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.

Amish ChickenFor Ken, it was the Amish chicken. It too has truffle oil, so I of course had a bite. But I’ll be honest, I was so focused on my own meal that I left him to his own Amish devices.

Summer Beet Mezzaluna salad Carmelized Brussels SproutsNow 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.

Blue Fin Tuna CrudoWe were also treated to the tuna crudo, which boasts a perfect soy bite, as well as a cold crunch of watermelon. Unreal.

Pappardelle Bolognese con ProscuittoKenny 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.

my date Boca Restaurant Boca inside Boca chandelierAgain, 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.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Anne September 24, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Oh, we adore Boca equally as much – we’ve gone for our anniversary celebration, and then when we both turned 30 this summer we couldn’t think of any place in Cincinnati we’d rather go than back to Boca. Definitely the best restaurant we’ve been to – and we’d love to try the open table by the kitchen because we’re such nerds about watching chefs and seeing how the kitchen works… can you make reservations specifically for it when you book online?

    Love your photos, and it sounds like an amazing evening when you add in the drinks at Nada and Sotto! Inspiration for our next visit.

    • Reply outandoutfit September 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Hey Anne! I don’t know about making reservations online for the Chef’s table, but of course if you call, they’ll accommodate. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply Danielle September 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Chef Faulk went to school with one of my friends and he introduced us to Boca when it was in it’s original location (prior to Rookwood). It has continued to improve each and every time we’ve been there, which is not an easy feat. My husband and I ate at the Chef’s Table/Bar when we were there as well and there was little talking between us because we were so fascinated with watching the kitchen staff work. And you’re right about the Brussel sprouts, in fact I was thinking they cooked down even longer! They’re crazy good and we have a hard time not ordering them when we go. Great review and I’m happy to have found your blog!

    • Reply outandoutfit September 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks Danielle! Obviously, great minds think alike…Boca is truly a treasure of ours. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply Boca October 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Katie –
    What a lovely article! We are elated you had such a great experience.

    Anne –
    Feel free to give us a call and we’d be happy to set you up at the chef’s table for your occasion.
    513.542.2022 or write Mears m.green@bocarg.com about reservations.

    Best,
    Boca Management

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