Boca came to being in October of 2001, the concept of Chef/Owner David Falk. It opened in the Northside community featuring flavors of Italy and France, then moved to the Oakley neighborhood in 2004 and stayed for 9 years. It moved to the heart of downtown Cincinnati (the former Maisonette space) in 2013, where it is today. It’s a fairly large space with a few seats at the kitchen counter, stools at the bar and a second story. Downstairs there is a combination of booths, various sizes of tables and bench seating with music in the background. Lots of pillows were on the bench seats and lights were lowered. The large open kitchen allows you to see some other foods as they come out. Valet parking is available, otherwise it means using a paid garage. Staff were super friendly and helpful. We wanted to try lots of things and the server was willing to course them out for us. Tables are close enough that conversation can happen between occupants. I can see why many use this as a ‘special occasion’ place but if I lived closer, I’d go all the time – it’s that good.
We started with a glass of sparkler to get us through the first couple courses before we moved to red wine. Pommes Soufflés are a “1949” classic of Maisonette revisited. They were excellent. A pile of them come in an open basket with a buttery sauce on the side. They were good with and without sauce. The perfectly puffed potato wedges were delicate and crisp. They were fun to eat and tasty.
“Boca Oysters” Rockefeller style are ordered by the piece. We each got one and they were wonderful. The good sized oyster had a great balance of toppings. They were served piping hot with a browned lemon piece. Delicious.
Charred leeks with anchovy and hazelnut vinaigrette were a most interesting presentation. The leeks were standing up and then covered with the vinaigrette. They were totally tasty and tender. Usually I’ve had these laying down and covered with the dressing but this was a really fun way to present them. They were topped with a few fried onion rings. This was another wonderful dish.
Haricot Vert, bacon lardon, frisée and almond were dressed with a sherry vinaigrette and topped with a farm egg. The egg was fairly cooked but still runny enough to mix with the other ingredients. This dish was absolutely filled with flavors and textures. It was very good.
Bread and butter had a nice crust and soft interior. The softened butter was lightly salted. It was good on it’s own but great to get last bits of sauces from the dishes.
Lumache con Salsiccia with funghi, porcini, housemade sausage and parmigiano was a totally savory dish. The wonderful sauce stuck perfectly to the little nuggets of pasta that was just right. This was great stuff – really yummy.
Beef Wellington with black truffle bordelaise is said to serve 2-4. The two of us split it and it came out as 2 pieces on the plate, one end and one middle. The sauce was added tableside. The crust was well browned and the plate really lovely. The beef was cooked to a nice medium rare, which is the only way they can cook it. The wonderful seasonings surrounding the meat coupled with the richly flavored sauce made this another outstanding dish. The meat was tender. It was an excellent rendition of this classic offering.
Maple mascarpone cheescake came with a cinnamon-walnut streusel, caramel and maple tuille. It came out shaped like a round rather than a wedge and was topped plus surrounded by an amazing sauce. The cheesecake itself was light and smooth and great with the streusel and tuille which added textures. This was really excellent and I wanted to lick the plate of every sticky bit of goodness that was on it. Yum x1.