Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Boca, Sotto and others

"Boca" 114 East 6th St. (513) 471-4648 has been open for several weeks, most of the "kinks" have been worked out, but not the "clatter". The beautiful renovation of the old Masionette space( thanks 3CDC) has produced an "open kitchen", therefore the "clatter", modern restaurant divided into several rooms plus a bar and lounge area. It is a very attractive space to go with their modern Italian and Seafood menu, not that other items aren't available. We had our first meal there last night, along with another couple.
I began with the usual "Bombay"($10) followed by the Haricot Vert Salad, a nice mixture of greens, green beans, bacon, croutons and peas. The dressing was light and matched perfectly the items served.
"Boca" offers both Full and Tasting portions and most of us went with the latter. My two choices were: Squid Tagliolini, al dente, black, pasta mixed with peas and cheese and then covered in a light butter based sauce; and Baked Cod with a few sliced carrots served on top of a creamy polenta. The Cod portion was surrounded by a wonderful citrus sauce. Both sauces made the home made Italian bread even more enjoyable.
Marilyn started with the Grilled Romaine ( Cesear), a hold over from the Oakley spot, and followed with the tasting sized English Pea Ravioli, accompanied by a small piece of lobster. Her other small plate was Paparadelle Bolognese. From my tastings of her dishes, and her vote, the ravioli won the day. Coffee but no dessert brought the bill, including tax, but without tip, to slightly under $100.
It was a festive evening. Several people stopped by to say "hello". Most of the middle aged diners were well dressed and quite congenial.

"Sotto", which I believe means "under", 116 E 6th St. (513) 977-6886 has been open longer than "Boca" and we have visited on several occasions. The same food group runs them both. Our most recent visit, again with friends, found us splitting both first courses and dessert. The first course provided a large portion of roasted Brussels Sprouts, marinated in a balsamic dressing and topped with slices of Parmesan, and a small portion of baked, fresh Lemon halfs filled with a cheese and bread crumb and herb dressing. My main couse was the excellent Grilled Salmon, rare plus, served on a bed of fresh spinach with a butter and citrus sauce. Marilyn ordered the Amatriciana Pasta, oversized macarony shells in a somewhat spicy tomato and cheese sauce.
Dessert was an order, approximatly 6 golf ball, sized doughnut holes with a ricotta filling and 3 sauces, Carmel, Pistacio and Chocolat.

Other spots of our "eating out" trail this week were "The Quarter Bistro" 6904 Wooster Pike (513) 271-5400, which found us on a beautiful night at an outside table having drinks and main courses. The table split a large order of Guacamole and chips followed by individual main courses, mine, Belgium Endive leaves surrounded by shrimp, apple slices and dowsed with a light vinegret dressing with Gorgonzola and small croutons. Marlyn went with their "bisto Burger" which she reported as being dry, although the French fries vanished with no complaints.

Sunday night, for our son-in-laws birthday, 5 of us went to "Kaze" 1400 Vine St. (513)898-7991. "Kaze" has been in operation at least 6 months and has greatly improved, in my estimation, in that time. At a family birthday there is always sharing and that night was no exception. Pork Buns and Beef Sliders made the rounds with one for each. Several Sushi Roles, "California" and "Dragon", the first vegeterian and the latter with smoked eel and tempura shrimp, were sampled by all but Marilyn. Then came several orders of hanger steak and fingerling potatoes, divided salads and one with Octopus which got no takers except the author.
A "brought in" Bonbonerie Opera Cream cake provided the final Hari-Kari moment.

And now it's off to the Pacific Northwest and more adventures.

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