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Boba - lovely dinner

TorontoJo Jul 23, 2007 02:46 PM

I don't see many posts about Boba, so thought I'd jump in with a recent experience. Went last Friday for a quiet dinner for two and had a great evening. Started on the patio, but a chilly breeze kicked in and we asked to be moved inside. We found the service to be all around excellent, with no single server "assigned" to us, rather the entire team took care of us as needed. While one would think that would lead to chaos (and too many "has someone taken your drink order?" questions), it was surprisingly well oiled.

Started with a glass of sparkling wine and a mineral water, and while mulling over wine, one of the servers kindly pointed out the excellent selection of half bottles on their wine list. This was perfect, as neither of us wanted too much.

Appetizer was my favourite part of the meal for both of us: 3 different heirloom tomatoes with a few drops of a balsamic reduction and a few drops of pesto, served with pickled onions, crisp pancetta, and two perfect little grilled cheese halves. I cannot tell you how good it was. The tomatoes were perfectly ripe and flavourful and with all the other bits, it was like eating a deconstructed grilled cheese w/bacon and tomato (which is one of my favourite sandwiches).

Mains were pan-seared wild striped bass and paella w/breaded calamari for me, and a roasted salmon w/herbed spaetzle and veggie ragu for him. Both fishes were fresh and cooked perfectly for us -- i.e., not too rare, but still delicate and juicy. Sides were delish, especially the spaetzle (boiled al dente, then pan fried until a bit crisp) and the calamari (very fresh and very tender). Shared a half bottle of a nice chateauneuf du pape.

Desserts were good, but not knock our socks off fantastic. Probably because we were so full by then. Hubby had a lovely mixed fruit/berry pie with a perfect crust. I had there "verrine" sampler. Think a dessert terrine served in a glass. Really a glorified parfait. But the combinations were quite wonderful, though I can't recall them in detail at this point. I believe one included a pineapple sorbet w/coconut panna cotta and a cornmeal layer, one was a tiramisu w/a decadent hot fudge layer, and the third is a complete blank. I really was too full to enjoy them properly, even though the portions were petite in the sampler.

Oh, and great lattes.

Anyway, all in all, it was one of the nicer evenings we've had in a while. No pretension or fussiness, just good food and good service in a simple, but nice setting.

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  1. Royaljelly RE: TorontoJo Jul 23, 2007 06:40 PM

    Nice review TJ. I know what you mean, Boba doesn't seem to get recommended much here. I recall my one experience there when we attended a talk and dinner and I was really pleased with the food. I vowed to go back to experience it again on my own, but never did. Not sure why not... but I'll have to put in on my 'to do' list again.

    1. r
      Redshifted RE: TorontoJo Jul 23, 2007 10:20 PM

      I had dinner at Boba last Tuesday (very similar to what TorontoJo had) and agree very much with her review. The heirloom tomato salad was simply outstanding with the tomatoes in peak condition. I turned the tiny grilled cheese sandwich into a BLT,.. so I guess we were thinking along the same lines here. For my main, I had pan seared halibut with the paella and breaded calamari. The fish was juicy and contrasted nicely with the spicy paella and the tiny calamari rings were a nice addition.. For dessert, I had the verrine samplers as well. The third one was cherries with chocolate cake like layers - kind of a blackforest cake. I thought that the pineapple one contained ginger or gingerbread but I could be wrong. It was an interesting dessert - I hadn't seen it before. If you ever have room for dessert, try the Grand Dessert which offers samples of most of the desserts for $13. I always enjoy the atmosphere on the patio, so I make it a point to drop by every summer. I think that this may have been one of the best dinners that I have enjoyed at Boba in many a year.

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