I thought our meal at Sepia was amazing, but our meal at Boka was on another level. Markus and I almost missed out, but we both figured that Restaurant Week only happens once a year. I've been wanting to eat at Boka for ages now. It's been Michelin starred for the past four years and it's one of the most popular restaurants in Chicago. When I went to make a reservation, all the weekends were already booked and I could only book a table for two on Thursday, the last day of Restaurant Week. I'm so glad that we decided to keep our reservation because it was one of the best meals I've ever eaten.
Roasted Beets, yogurt, almond, caraway
Marinated hamachi, kohlrabi, grapefruit, horseradish
Our first course was a cold course of roasted beets and marinated hamachi. We had a similar pairing at Sepia. I was completely blown away by both dishes. Every component melded together perfectly, creating something delicious. The beets were roasted nicely and the almonds and caraway were a nice touch. The marinated hamachi with grapefruit and horseradish was an incredible flavor profile and both dishes were a wonderful way to begin the meal.
Seared scallop, fennel, morcilla, sherry
Slow poached egg, squash, grains, parmesan
The second course was a hot course of seared scallop and slow poached egg. I love scallops and when they are cooked perfectly, it's like butter. The thing I enjoyed most was that the scallop wasn't overdressed in any sauce and the garnishes only highlighted their natural flavor. The slow poached egg was also very good. It was very simple in flavor but the real winner of the dish was the toasted grains that added a nice crunchy texture.
Grilled short rib, bitter greens, chestnut
Lightly smoked arctic char, beets, dill, brown butter
I loved everything about our entree course, which consisted of grilled short rib and lightly smoked arctic char. I tend to stay away from beef, but I couldn't resist the combination of beef, bitter greens and chestnuts. I was very intrigued and have to say, it tasted great. The meat was the real highlight and very tender. The arctic char was delicate and was accentuated by the brown butter, dill and beets. I loved how subtle the fish tasted and then when you added the garnishes, the flavor intensified.
Dark chocolate mousse, 70% south american cacao, creamsicle
Coffee & hazelnuts, praline, whole milk ice cream
The dessert course was a delicious end to a wonderful four course meal. I love dark chocolate in all it's forms and I had to try the mousse. I really liked it, but Markus made a comment that the creamsicle crumbles tasted like Fruity Pebbles. After that, it was all I could think, but I like Fruity Pebbles, so it worked out for me. The coffee and hazelnut dessert was a teensy bit better than the mousse. I think it was because of the addition of the caramel. It added a little bit of sweetness that I didn't know I wanted. Overall, this entire meal from Boka was incredibly good and I would not hesitate to return even if it wasn't Restaurant Week.