Posted by eemilla on February 19, 2011
Before I was hit with this wretched cold, my honey and I had a night on the town with food and music. We’re trying to get in as much fun and going out as possible before we have to also find a babysitter. For dinner my husband chose Boca, a new addition to Lexington Avenue, and I couldn’t resist a menu with two of my favorite Spanish words: jicama and Oaxacan.
We arrived sometime between 7:30 and 8, so they were relatively busy for a Thursday night. I saw one other empty table, which was a four top miserably situated to be shot with an arctic blast every time the front door opened. Although we were sat behind a protective planter, we were acutely aware each and every time the door was opened, especially if a few people were trying to squeeze into the tiny foyer to talk with the hostess. Boca leaves no space unused, and with a prime spot who can blame them for trying to maximize every square inch. However, we were nestled into an alcove with another two top and a six top; this is no restaurant for large people, because if I had been anymore pregnant I’m not certain I could have managed to sit close enough to the table to avoid touching the seat behind me. As a foil the ladies’ rest room was huge. In the warmer months, they have a garage door that looks like it will open to provide patio access, and I look forward to dining on the patio enclosed by their large water feature.
Our service was prompt and professional by both the server and the hostess; although our server did not mention any specials, and from our seat the specials board wasn’t readily visible in the dimly lit atmosphere. I opted to stick to the appetizers menu for my dinner; I tried the chickpea salad and the mushroom empanadas, while he chose the ceviche of the day, jicama salad, and the entree he tried to push me into ordering, black Oaxacan mole enchiladas. Everything we ordered was served in hearty portions well worth the price, but the executions of a few items fell short of our expectations. My chickpea salad which promised almonds, pomegranate seeds, and a vinaigrette came sans; the greens, goat cheese, and fried chickpeas, however, were served in abundance (there was actually too much goat cheese). The jicama and chile lime dish would have been better if it had actually been jicama and chile lime rather than the sweet chile sauce we received. As it was the biggest dish, the enchiladas were also the biggest disappointment. I definitely dodged a bullet by not ordering this dish; the sauce was so searingly spicy that even my smoker husband who adores more heat that I can stand was taken aback. He ordered it with tofu, and he reported the tofu was bland and probably cooked by someone who doesn’t actually eat tofu. On the bright side the rice was perfectly cooked and delightfully fresh with the taste of cilantro.
My mushroom empanadas were smoky, and unlike the mole on the enchiladas, their smoky spice was perfectly balanced with the blandness of the corn pastry; I have been craving those things all week long, but I think pairing them with a nice cold beer will make them even better so I’m abstaining for now. My husband enjoyed his mahi- mahi ceviche.
Our meal was mostly pleasant, and hopefully Boca will iron out the kinks in their execution of the menu items without reducing their portion sizes; again, I am looking forward to sitting on the patio with sound of their water feature and enjoying a cold beer and some mushroom empanadas.