Chicago Restaurant Week 2012 – Day 1
It’s that time of year again, where aside from Valentine’s day, restaurants are notoriously slow. It is easy to entice people in with a bargain deal of $33 for a 3 course meal at some pretty great restaurants, some of which are Michelin star recipients.
Speaking of Michelin stars…
My first time at Boka was during restaurant week last year and we checked it out as part of a special birthday celebration for my best friend. The meal was memorable and everyone loved it. Unfortunately, I haven’t made it back since but decided to give it another go during restaurant week this year. You can’t beat Michelin Star food at a bargain price.
Boka recently underwent a minor facelift and the space is fun, airy, and calming. The space isn’t too stuffy and I could spend hours in one of their beautiful booths just soaking in the food, drinks, and atmosphere. Ninja star awarded.
I feel it’s hard to go wrong taking your boo to any Michelin rated restaurant. Boka is an easy place to stare at your hunnie lovingly across a table donned with candle light. Noise also isn’t an issue. Ninja star awarded.
The month of sobriety continues. I remained strong despite the strong urge for wine…. Ninja star is not applicable at this time. Although I did have a fantastic bottle of wine last year and their cocktails look heavenly.
The decision for the first course was an easy one, Beef Cheek Ravioli with crayfish and celery root hash and lobster jus. The ravioli were cooked perfectly and tasted delicious but it wasn’t a special dish. I was hoping for layers of flavor that would stand out and play off of each other but it was just lacking.
I was stuck on the second course. I generally don’t order chicken dishes for dinner at restaurants because of the tendency for the chicken to be overcooked and dry. Plus, why have chicken when I can have fish or a nice piece of red meat? I went against my better judgment and ordered the Buttermilk Poached Chicken Breast with foie gras sauce, carrot risotto cake, spinach, and portabella jus.
Let’s be real… they got me at foie gras sauce. The flavors of the different components worked well together and the foie gras sauce shined. However, a piece of chicken without the sauce revealed that it was indeed dry and lacking on its own.
It was a good call on my part that I can’t resist a good mac-n-cheese so we ordered the Edamame Mac-n-Cheese.
Absolutely amazing, not too cheesy, the pasta is perfectly cooked, and the edamame just gives it a little something extra to make it special.
However, the Mac-n-Cheese simply wasn’t enough to award this meal a star.
Overall yummy in my tummy:
Overall, it wasn’t a bad meal by any means but it didn’t live up to the standards of the meal I had last year. It happens sometimes during restaurant week when the same dishes are being mass produced quickly. No star this time.
For the third and best course I had the Chocolate Praline Terrine with hazelnut ice cream, coffee foam, and candied hazelnuts. Phenomenal! I feel like this was the same dessert they served last year.
I ate every single bite! Oh how I wished higher end restaurants would serve bigger portions. Luckily, my friend doesn’t like dessert so I raided his plate. The chocolate crunchy things reminded me of those good bits of chocolate that come in ice cream cake. Plus, I’m such a sucker for sweet and salty with chocolate. This is the best of everything and the star of the meal! Ninja star awarded.
I think Boka fell under the restaurant week spell where the food just isn’t up to the normal stellar level. I’ll be back but in the mean time Boka receives a 6/9 ninja stars.
Till next time, peace out food ninjas!