Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Boca Kitchen Bar: Locally Sourced Florida Cuisine

Boca Kitchen Bar & Market brings delectable flavours of modern American comfort cuisine to downtown Sarasota. Located by the Performing Arts District in the heart of Sarasota, the restaurant has beautiful indoor and outdoor seating with a cozy and comfortable neighbourhood ambiance, and sunny, industrial-chic vibe. Big sidewalk-facing windows, walls of wood and unfinished brick, punctuated by hanging herb gardens emphasize Boca's dedication to fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Executive Chef Matt Mangone is the mastermind behind Boca's creative menu that ranges from sandwiches, salads and soups for lunch, to hearty dishes like Florida Pink Shrimp and Grits, Lobster Pot Pie and Sweet Potato Gnocchi for dinner. For the adventurous diner, some order the Chef’s Meal, which is sourced from the ingredients on hand that night and is never prepared the same way twice. Open every day for lunch and dinner, we arrived one Sunday for their popular Weekend Brunch which our server was pleased to inform us features unlimited Mimosas. If that wasn't impressive enough, the dishes we ordered were delicious. The Spinach Frittata with Tomato, Pear and Radish Salad with Burrata was outstanding, as was the Smoked Corned Beef Hash with eggs, roasted onions, red peppers and potato hash. Coupled with friendly courteous service and reasonable prices, if we lived in Sarasota, Boca would be on our list of restaurants to revisit over and over again.

Boca Kitchen Bar & Market brings delectable flavours in modern American comfort cuisine to the performing arts district in the heart of downtown Sarasota

Boca's modern industrial-chic interior

Table setting with casual dish towel napkin

The green wall at Boca with seasonal greens growing and used by the kitchen

Open Kitchen with Boca's statement supporting local farmers

By working with local farms and businesses, Executive Chef Matt Mangone is able to create custom, seasonal, and Florida grown dishes

Boca's Brunch menu

Boca Brunch Prosecco with organic blackberry

Endless glasses of Mimosas at Sunday Brunch

Hand stamped recycled cardboard coasters are a great idea reducing the carbon footprint of typical restaurant drink coasters

Fried Green Tomatoes with pimento cheese, tomato jam and Boca bacon

Boca Smoked Corned Beef Hash with eggs, roasted onions, red peppers and potato hash

A light, hot and fluffy Spinach Frittata served in a piping hot cast iron pan

Delicious Tomato, Pear and Radish Salad with Burrata

Brie and Apple Flatbread with roasted air-chilled chicken, brie, granny smith apples, pickled red onions, and sweet aïoli

Thai Black Bean-Chili Glazed Grouper with Udon Noodles
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of chef Matt Mangone

Glazed Grouper:
4 6 oz grouper filets, boneless, skinless
Kosher salt to taste
Cracked white pepper to taste
4 oz olive or vegetable oil
12 oz udon noodles, pre-cooked
8 oz shimeji mushrooms
4 tbsp shallots, peeled and minced
4 tbsp butter, unsalted
8 oz chicken stock
Cilantro leaves for garnish

Black Bean Chili Glaze:
2 cups sweet chili glaze
1 tsp black bean paste
2 tsp sweet soy
1/2 cup ketchup

Season the grouper with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, heat oil to smoke point. Add the grouper and sear until golden brown on the bottom. Turn over and cook briefly. Top each piece of fish with 1-ounce of the black bean glaze each and place the entire pan under the broiler to finish. In a separate sauté pan, heat the shallots and butter. Sauté the mushrooms and deglaze with chicken stock as needed. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Heat the udon noodles with the sautéed mushrooms. To plate, place the udon noodles in the centre of the bowl. Place the glazed grouper on top and garnish with cilantro leaves.

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