Executive chef: Giuseppe Tentori Pastry chef: Elizabeth Dahl
Location: 1729 North Halsted, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park) (map)
Resident Foodies say: There’s good reason why Food & Wine named Chef Guiseppe Tentori as one of the best new chefs in 2008. His food is a visual and culinary delight, with stunning displays of colors and surprising mixtures of ingredients. Salad is not an appetizer at Boka, it is true artwork consisting of greens, fruit, and cheeses. The salad is just as, if not more, memorable than the entrees! But the entrees continue the dazzling mixture of subtle ingredients.
We sampled (1) the braised short rib ravioli (with prawn and sweet corn ragout, and goat milk foam), (2) the herb crusted white fish (with wild rice, brussel sprout leaves, pickled cockscomb, and winter squash sauce), (3) the lake trout (with salt cod croquette, fennel sauce, orange segments, and sauteed spinach), and (4) the vegeterian herbed risotto tart (with roasted portobello, baby turnips, ricotta, beet puree). The dishes are sophisticated and complex, yet also very comforting and downright delicious. The portions are generous, some may find too generous. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Pastry Chef Elizabeth Dahl continues Boka’s impressive concoction of interesting ingredients with desserts that are different from anything we’ve encountered, yet so delicious.