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Boka


madisonite
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We are traveling to Chicago unexpectantly this Monday and are looking for a place to dine that we haven't been to. One of our good friends suggested Boca. Has anyone been there that could offer some opinions? Otherwise are there any other suggestions?

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We are traveling to Chicago unexpectantly this Monday and are looking for a place to dine that we haven't been to.  One of our good friends suggested Boca.  Has anyone been there that could offer some opinions?  Otherwise are there any other suggestions?

Do you mean BoKa in Lincoln Park? Giuseppe Tintori's restaurant?

I had dinner there back in March. I was not impressed. I'm sure others will have more enthusiastic things to say.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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How about A Mano? (restaurant site here) The tagliatelle and skate wing I had been looking forward to were off the menu when I ate there on the 10th, but my three companions and I had an excellent meal nonetheless.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Whoever recommended Boka to you did you a huge favor. They are under the radar a little, but I am going to say that this is the best ala carte menu in the city. I am surprised about the post about not being impressed. Since the "new" Giuseppi I have been there 10 times and never been unhappy. There are some dishes that you need to like the ingredients or they may throw you off but they are great. A little bit of side note: Get the Macaroni and Cheese with Edamame as a side. I own a restaurant in the city and always recommend Boka to people who like mine.

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I am surprised about the post about not being impressed.  Since the "new" Giuseppi I have been there 10 times and never been unhappy.

It was me.

Some things were good, but overall, I was really deflated. Plating was sloppy, fish was overcooked, and many items (especially a chicken main course) were over-seasoned. A lot of things just didn't make sense to me, like:

A little bit of side note: Get the Macaroni and Cheese with Edamame as a side.  I own a restaurant in the city and always recommend Boka to people who like mine.

The bowl of "Macaroni and Cheese with Edamame" was a bit too far removed from anything remotely like macaroni and cheese to be called macaroni and cheese. I understand that chefs are trying to be witty, but I do think there needs to some grounding at a certain level. Maybe I'm a bit dense, but this reference was a little too hard for me to get: it looked like a bowl of spaetzle with edamame. I mean, if "macaroni and cheese" is about pasta and cheese, then he could have also called this side dish "pasta primavera," or "spaetzle and beans." But nomenclature aside, I didn't find anything particularly appealing about the Macaroni and Cheese with Edamame. As a side dish, I liked the Minted Cucumbers much better.

On the the bright side, the best thing I had that evening was the toasted oatmeal ice cream that the Pastry Chef Elizbeth Dahl served on the ice cream trio. The "Toasted Tarragon Cake" was also lovely (there's a variation on this olive oil cake in one of the major food magazines this month; I forgot which one). The (gigantic) "Sesame Macaron" on the other hand, was nightmarishly chewy.

I guess that sums up my one dinner at boka (this was a few months ago): hits and miss, the misses being complete misses and the hits being just above competency level. I know that sounds harsh, but I'll be the first to recognize that every restaurant has a bad night and I might have just visited at the wrong time.

As an aside, I do know for certain that Tentori was not in that evening; not that it should matter.

p.s. What do you mean by "'new' Giuseppe?"

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I am surprised about the post about not being impressed.  Since the "new" Giuseppi I have been there 10 times and never been unhappy.

It was me.

p.s. What do you mean by "'new' Giuseppe?"

The restaurant openned up with a different giuseppe as the chef, and I was not a fan. I have to say a know a lot of people that are addicted to the mac and cheese there...me being on of them...i consider it mac and cheese elevated....not my favorite...if i want straight mac and cheese.... Stanley's is superb..and recently i have started to really like the Fifty/50 with the protein added to it...pork or chicken.

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I am surprised about the post about not being impressed.  Since the "new" Giuseppi I have been there 10 times and never been unhappy.

It was me.

p.s. What do you mean by "'new' Giuseppe?"

The restaurant openned up with a different giuseppe as the chef, and I was not a fan. I have to say a know a lot of people that are addicted to the mac and cheese there...me being on of them...i consider it mac and cheese elevated....not my favorite...if i want straight mac and cheese.... Stanley's is superb..and recently i have started to really like the Fifty/50 with the protein added to it...pork or chicken.

I'm confident that Tentori was the chef when I was there (although, as I mentioned earlier, he wasn't in that evening).

I guess I'm a glutton: when I order mac and cheese, what I'm really wanting is mac and CHEESE - tunnels of it. There was barely any cheese in Tentori's version. Breadcrumbs, yes. Edamame, yes. Pasta, sort of. Cheese, hardly.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I went there Thursday night and loved the place. Love the vibe, the friendly staff, and the cuisine. I went with mid-level expectations (was not expecting a "tops" place) and wasn't disappointed, except for the chicken main course--it seemed overcooked and dry. But other than that, the other things were terrific. I'll weigh in on the mac and cheese--loved it. The sweetbreads appetizer was great as well. To me this is a mid-level "go to" place for creative and reliable food.

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  • 7 months later...

I guess I'm a glutton: when I order mac and cheese, what I'm really wanting is mac and CHEESE - tunnels of it.  There was barely any cheese in Tentori's version.  Breadcrumbs, yes. Edamame, yes.  Pasta, sort of. Cheese, hardly.

There are four cheeses in the mac and cheese (one of them being VELVEETA, YUM).

I don't know who's mac and cheese you ordered, but it was the same one I ordered. Mine was practically dripping with melty cheese. Perhaps you should head to their bar, order a drink and some mac and cheese. it'd only put you out about $20 after all.

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