I am one tired girl. After a hectic last few months of 2013 with work, kids, school, travel and the holidays, I was in need of a relaxing night out at one of the restaurants that has been on my “to eat at” list for the last year….Boca Kitchen Bar & Market. I made plans to meet my friend and fellow food lover, Jennifer of The Foodie Patootie, along with my friend Erin, and we met on a lazy Saturday afternoon to enjoy drinks and a few light bites. It was just what the doctor ordered.
Located in cozy Hyde Park, Boca resides in what used to be a garage and gas station that was built in 1928. As soon as I walked in, I was pleasantly reminded of one of my favorite spots back home, Naglee Park Garage, which also used to be a gas station. I immediately felt right at home. Our server, Danica, greeted us with a smile and went over the menu and specials while pouring us water served with fresh lemons.
I started off with The L.G.K.M (the lean green kale machine) which is a delightful blend of kale, celery, apple, cucumber and lemon. After weeks of over indulging on holiday treats, it was just what my body was craving. As we looked over the menu, we decided to select a few things to share family style and began with their Heirloom Caprese which is a gorgeous array of heirloom cherry tomatoes, burrata cheese, torn basil and balsamic vinaigrette. I can’t resist a dish with burrata and this salad did not disappoint.
We also enjoyed their Organic Spinach Salad which combines a goat cheese croquette, oven-dried grapes, toasted almonds, warm apples and Boca bacon vinaigrette. Another incredible salad, I enjoyed each and every bite, especially the goat cheese croquette.
Jennifer had been to Boca before and raved about their Fried Green Tomatoes, so I just had to order them. Topped with house pimiento cheese, tomato jam and Boca bacon, they were sensational. Each bite was a savory blend of the hot, tart and juicy tomato that was cooled with the smoky tomato jam and pimiento. The bacon was an added bonus to this stellar dish.
It was time for me to try one of their craft cocktails and Danica recommended The Nelly, which blends cucumber-infused Tito’s Vodka, elderflower and champagne. This cocktail represents some of my favorite flavors in a glass, as I love how cucumber blends with elderflower and champagne. Crisp and refreshing, I enjoyed every sip.
Boca offers some wonderful sides and the one that caught my eye was the Brussels Sprout Hash. Simple and delicious, we all thoroughly enjoyed this dish. Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables and I love how they prepare them.
Last but not least, we had their Napa + Salinas Flatbread. As a Northern California native that grew up in the middle of both towns, I was excited to try this flatbread which is topped with herbed goat cheese, wild arugula, roasted grapes and smoked vidalia onion jam. It was a perfect homage to these two fantastic towns and the flavors were simple intoxicating.
My first trip to Boca was everything I dreamed it would be and more. Truly reminiscent of my favorite places in Napa Valley, Boca won me over with their farm to table concept and local flavors. I am still thinking about my incredible experience and can’t wait to return.[?]