We recently visited this amazing city for the first time the beginning of August. I wanted to comment on how absolutely amazing Boka was. We went there our first night in town, and it ended up setting the standard for our other meals. NO one even came close to our experience there.
We sat on the patio (I think it was hot by Chicago standards, but we are from NC where it has been over 100 forever it seems). We didn't see the inside of the restaurant, but the patio was very comfortable. The service was spot on as well, never lacking for silverware, water, bread etc.
We shared multiple things.
Started with the tuna app which was
"Marinated big eye tuna, apple and horseradish, hearts of palm, sweet and sour watermelon, watercress" for $13
It was very fresh, had menu integrity, just thought it was lacking a bit in bold flavors we were expecting from menu description. It did make a great refreshing start.
Next we shared
"Grilled Octopus with Flageolet beans, and eel salad, tomatillo and red onion" $13
Outstanding! The octopus was very tender and picked up the flavors of the grill nicely. The eel (which I don't usually care for too much - husband picked this dish- was very good. The tomatillo garnish was wonderful.
The star of the show was
Chamomile dust quail, carmalized fenned. broccoli-marcona almond hash, semolina goat cheese croquette $13
I still think about this dish.I would go back to Chicago just for this dish. The only problem was we needed to have ordered two of them.
For an entree we shared
Grilled Beef tenderloin licorice braised short ribs, purple potato pave, spring asparagus-shallot ragout, array of mushrooms $38 (the most expensive on menu)
This was plated as separate components on a large sq. plate that our server suggested we take a small part of each and try together. We had ordered this for the short rib, but surprisingly the star of the plate was the mushrooms and potato pave. Not to say that the meat was not good, it was very good. The flavors from the veggie sides made the dish.
We were going to share one dessert, but they sent out an additional one as well. I had mentioned that I liked more savory dishes, but my husband was more interested in the semifreddo with figs. The chef also sent out a sweet corn flan with blackberry sauce. Oh my God, it was soo good.
I have to admit, we started with no expectations, but it surpassed almost all restaurant experiences we have had. We own a restaurant in NC, and was discussing our biz with our server, Jesse, who passed on the info to the chef Guiesspe (spelling is way off) who was chef du cuisine for 9 yrs at Trotters. Very nice articulate gentleman who cerainly has a passion for his food.
Other places we dined at were
Lunch at Trattoria 10 - pretty good for tourist place.
Dinner at Topolo which we had high expectations, ended up very disappointed.
Dinner at One Sixty Blue - food was good, apps shined, service subpar. Nice strong drinks though
Lunch at original Uno - killed us for the day. No need to go back
Dinner at Riccardos Trattoria - still full from lunch at Uno, excellent quality of ingredients, wanted to order half the menu, but not too hungry. Our second server at onesixty recommended this place where he works on Sundays, glad we went, would go back.
Wish we had time to go to Alinea (sp?) next to Boka's, the chef there highly suggested it, raved about it, but probably just as well we didn't go after our heavy pizza lunch.
Can't wait to return to Chicago!!
Thanks for all the great posts on this board too, we based our reservations on your comments.