Occupation: Television Producer
Favorite Restaurant: Bocanova
Reviewed Bocanova: Friday, February 22, 2013
Bocanova is hands down one of the best restaurants in the East Bay! It opened in 2009, replacing the Old Spaghetti Factory. It’s an architectural delight with reclaimed wood, decoratively painted accent walls, a few pieces of artwork or photography, wood tables, concrete pillars and glass pendant lighting. The ambiance is fun, energetic, lively yet great for small or big groups and also ideal just for two. The seating options include a spacious outdoor area on the patio with a scenic view of the Jack London Square Waterfront; the inside has an open, contemporary and cozy loft style dining room, combining old and new. There are great seats at the stained glass panel bar as well, with some of the most comfortable blue leather square stools where you can sit and enjoy a drink and/or food for hours with friendly and entertaining bartenders mixing unique cocktails and more! From my experience, the service has always been stellar with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The food at Bocanova is consistently outstanding. The restaurant calls it Pan-American Grill where they have a wide range of cuisines from North, Central and South America.
The menu has a fabulous blend of Latin American ingredients and many items are not ones you would find elsewhere. What I like a lot about the food here is that you can order just a few dishes or order a dish or two from each of the different categories such as the oven, stove, grill, rotisserie, la plancha, etc. and they will all complement one another. The flavors blend really well together and there is a good variety of dishes to choose from. We started with the Dungeness crab deviled eggs with chipotle aioli; probably some of the best deviled eggs around. From the garden section of the menu, we enjoyed the quinoa salad with grapes, pomegranate, persimmon (so delicious) and duck confit; a good portion to share with others at the table. Other favorite dishes include the cauliflower: deep fried with piquillo pepper and toasted garlic romesco sauce. The “Huarache” is served sizzling hot and is so flavorful with pancetta, Fuji apples, caramelized shallots, rosemary oil and Oaxaca cheese. The sweet potato and chipotle gratin is one not to miss, and goes great with any of the other dishes. The sea scallops with a Brazilian curry sauce and a few veggies, served julienne style on top, are delicious -- worth every single bite. The crispy lamb shoulder with cannellini beans has just the right seasonings and served tender. The grilled octopus has a nice blend of chili flakes, lemon and cherry tomatoes. The wine list pairs nicely with all the dishes and there’s a great selection to choose from. For dessert, the one that stands out by far is the warm chocolate croissant bread pudding with Mexican chocolate ice cream!
Occupation: Hotel Sales Manager
Location: Santa Rosa
Favorite Restaurant: Willi's Wine Bar
Reviewed Bocanova: Sunday, February 10, 2013